Disability Rights North Carolina

Introduction

Face Masks and Disabilities

Face Masks and Disabilities

What you need to know

Wondering what to do when face masks are required but you can’t wear one? We’ve got you covered. Here are are some of your questions answered.

Does North Carolina require me to wear a face covering if it is not safe for me to wear?

No. You are not required to wear a mask if you have a medical or behavioral reason not to. You also do not have to show proof of your condition.

Can local laws require me to wear a mask if it is not safe for me to wear?

No. Even if cities or counties have stricter laws, they must make reasonable modifications for people with disabilities who can’t safely wear a mask. A modification is a change to a rule or policy.

Can medical providers or hospitals require me to wear a mask if it is not safe for me to wear?

Probably not. Medical providers and hospitals must make reasonable modifications to their policies for people with disabilities who can’t safely wear masks. There are only certain conditions where it is required. A face shield could be offered instead since it is less restrictive than a mask.

Can a local business require me to wear a mask if it is not safe for me to wear?

Probably not. Local businesses must make reasonable modifications for people with disabilities who cannot safely wear masks. In some situations, a face shield may be offered instead since it is less restrictive than a mask.

Are there cards that I can use to show that I am exempt from face mask requirements?

No. The government does not have cards to show a person doesn’t have to wear a face mask because of their disability. These cards are misleading and unauthorized by federal and state governments.

May a business require me to provide documentation of my medical condition?

No. You do not have to show proof of your disability to ask a business to excuse you from its face mask policy.

See the full fact sheet for more information.