Exceptions to the mandatory mask order in Kansas City have caused some controversy, The Kansas City Star reports.
The order took effect last week, but young children, the hard of hearing and those with medical conditions that affect breathing are exempt.
Serious health conditions that interfere with the ability to wear a mask are rare. Most people with breathing conditions should be able to safely wear a mask, said Dr. Allen Greiner, chief medical officer for the Kansas City area.
People most at risk should stay at home as much as possible, much less go out without a mask, according to the American Lung Association.
Some members of the deaf and hard of hearing community have also said that they should not be exempted from the mask order.
Debate over exemptions stem from concern that people will look for loop holes in the order. Some worry that if those who don’t want to wear a mask can easily claim exemption, it will undermine the order.