SANTA FE (KSMX)- The New Mexico Department of Health has reported the use of fraudulent exemption cards that are being distributed to the public that indicates the holder of the card is exempt from wearing a face mask.
These cards falsely purport to be issued by NMDOH and the U.S. Department of Justice. Anyone fraudulently creating and/or using these cards could result in being charged with a 4th degree felony.
The card, prominently displaying both the NMDOH and U.S. Department of Justice logos, claims denial of the cardholder access to a business or organization despite not wearing a face mask will result in a fine – the opposite of all current orders in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The card is not officially recognized by the Department of Health. The U.S. Department of Justice has declared similar messaging distributed nationwide to be fraudulent.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health understand wearing masks may not be possible for some residents to include
- The deaf or hard of hearing
- People with intellectual or developmental disabilities
- Younger children for extended periods of time
The Department of Health is working with the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General to ensure anyone issuing fraudulent exemption cards is prosecuted appropriately.