Albertans seeking a medical exemption from mask use now require a letter from a physician, nurse practitioner or psychologist*
In the continued effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) has issued a public health order with new masking restrictions.
Effective May 13, 2021, any Albertan seeking a medical exemption from mask use due to a verified health condition must have an exemption letter from a physician, nurse practitioner or psychologist.
Masks are a critical public health measure and only certain health conditions exempt Albertans from wearing a mask in indoor, public settings, including:
- Sensory processing disorders
- Developmental delay
- Cognitive impairment
- Mental illnesses including:
- anxiety disorders
- psychotic disorders
- dissociative identity disorder
- depressive disorders
- Facial trauma or recent oral maxillofacial surgery
- Contact dermatitis or allergic reactions to mask components
- Clinically significant acute respiratory distress
Physicians are asked to use Alberta Health’s templated letter if their clinical judgement indicates a patient meets this criteria. A fillable template is available to physicians in independent practice from the Physician Portal, while a non-fillable version can be printed from Alberta Health’s website:
Only the physician treating the conditions noted above should provide the exemption letter. Please carefully review CPSA’s guidance on the mask exemption:
Medical exemption letters may be requested in public settings by enforcement officials, or by the courts if a ticket is issued. This is not intended to punish people unfairly, but to ensure everyone who is capable of wearing a mask complies with a public health measure intended to keep us all safe.
For more information on the health conditions that qualify for a mask exemption, and under which circumstances a physician should issue or refuse to provide a medical exemption letter, please review our FAQs and the order from the CMOH. Please email COVID19@cpsa.ab.ca with any questions.
*The email distributed to physicians on May 13 mistakenly said an exemption letter must come from a physician, nurse practitioner or psychiatrist. This was a typo and should have read psychologist, not psychiatrist. CPSA recognizes psychiatrists as physicians and essential to quality health care in Alberta. We sincerely apologize for this error.