(WKBN) – Face masks are supposed to serve as a barrier that helps slow the spread of COVID-19, but for some people, wearing a mask can be a risk to their health.
Before you head out the door, it’s become a normal for most people to put on a mask.
“The mask is stopping you from spreading what you may or may not have to someone else, and someone else wearing a mask is about them stopping what they may or may not have from affecting you,” said Dr. James Kravec from Mercy Health.
However, certain medical conditions and age restrictions make wearing a mask difficult.
“Severe facial trauma is one, someone who is under two years of age,” Kravec said.
He said people with severe respiratory issues, emphysema or COPD may also experience problems.
“Very few medical conditions, in reality, cause someone to not be able to wear a mask,” Kravec said.
You are not required to wear a mask in Ohio, but businesses are required to have all employees in facial coverings, with some exceptions.
Some businesses may also ask that customers wear a mask before going outside.
In Pennsylvania, even areas in the green phase are requiring people to wear masks. The Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Press Office said businesses can deny entry to people not wearing one.
The only people exempt from wearing a mask are those with specific medical conditions or age restrictions. No documentation is required.
“Those people are really at most risk anyway of being out, so if someone is that sick and they can’t wear a mask, they probably shouldn’t be out at all, given the risk of their health,” Kravec said.
Kravec recommends those who can’t wear masks to wear a face shield if they have to leave home.