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Local health official: mask exemptions don’t include asthma

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 5:48 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - In the midst of this week’s “viral” video of a Marietta woman being tased and removed from a Logan, Ohio football game, there’s also a question of health concerns related to the virus.

As we first reported Wednesday, Alecia Kitts was arrested at a middle school football game after a confrontation with a school resource officer.

The reason given for her not wearing a mask was because she has asthma.

“There aren’t as many reasons from a respiratory standpoint or other health conditions,” said Anne Goon, Commissioner for the Marietta-Belpre Health Department. “There are some, but there are not many.”

We asked Goon: is asthma one of them?

“No, actually asthma isn’t one of them, despite what people think. It’s pretty clear, when you look at the CDC guidance that was just updated a week ago, and from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. All of them say you should be wearing a mask if you have asthma.”

Goon notes conditions like autism and developmental disorders are conditions where people suffering from them do not need to wear a mask.

Goon points out a new order from Ohio’s health director, announced Thursday by Governor Mike DeWine and signed Friday, which lifts the limit on the number of games a school can play in one day, also includes an enforcement clause.

“The order that also changed the ability to have multi-team competitions in the same day, also added a provision for enforcement of the order,” Goon says.

“Someone from the Ohio Department of Health or a local health department or anybody else that’s been assigned to be an inspector to actually go to the venue and ensure they’re complying, they have to be allowed entrance. And if they find it is not being done in compliance with the orders, they can stop the game immediately and require everyone to leave.”

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