Local woman with medical condition says she has been denied service for not wearing mask

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DENVER (KDVR) — A Colorado woman claims she has been denied service at several businesses for not wearing a mask, despite having a doctor’s note explaining her medical conditions.

Under the statewide mandate requiring masks in public spaces, people with certain medical conditions are exempt from wearing a face covering.

Cyndi Rothermel says she has a deviated septum among other health issues. In May, her doctor issued a letter explaining that wearing a mask while working causes Rothermel to have persistent symptoms of shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Rothermel has been held out of work since.

“When I put the mask on, it made me have to work twice as hard and it literally put me in tears,” said Rothermel.

She says the doctor’s note has not helped in situations at local retail stores and gas stations where she hasn’t worn a mask.

“I’ve tried to show it to them, they won’t listen. They say, ‘We could get shut down if we serve you with that,'” said Rothermel.

Guidance from the state says people who cannot medically tolerate masks do not need a written exemption. Someone with a medical condition may tell the business that they cannot medically tolerate a mask, but those people are also advised to limit visits to businesses in order to protect themselves and others.

Rothermel says she recently had surgery to help improve her breathing and possibly allow her to safely wear a mask within a few weeks. 

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