A woman who refused to wear a mask at a Toronto hospital and complained about “being denied health care” in a video posted on Twitter, is facing heavy criticism online.
Twitter user Letitia Montana said she went into the emergency department at St. Joseph’s Hospital for a suspected broken finger.
“I was asked to wear a mask which I refused to do,” Montana wrote in her tweet posted Saturday night.
In the video, the camera is pointed at nurses and staff who confirm to Montana that they will refuse her service if she does not put on a mask as the city, and the world, is still in the coronavirus pandemic.
“Yes. We’re asking you to wear a mask,” a nurse said.
Another hospital staff member can be heard confirming to Montana that it’s an Ontario Ministry of Health policy.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott’s office released a statement on the incident at the hospital on Monday.
“I would like to thank the brave frontline heroes at St. Joseph’s Health Centre and across Ontario for putting themselves in harms way to care for us. When seeking care, each of us should follow all protocols in place at hospitals to help protect frontline workers and other patients.”
Went into the Emergency Dept. at St Joseph’s Hospital in #Toronto for a suspected broken finger. I was asked to wear a mask, which I refused to do. As a result, hospital staff asked me to leave and immediately called 3 security guards to escort me out. #filmyourhospital pic.twitter.com/7KlDa11udk
— Letitia Montana (@LetitiaMontana) July 5, 2020
St. Joseph’s Health Centre also released a statement saying the hospital works to ensure all patients receive the best possible care and “masks must be worn by everyone in our hospital in order to keep patients, staff and visitors safe.”
“This policy follows guidelines set out by Ontario’s Ministry of Health based on our best scientific understanding of COVID-19 and how it spreads,” the statement continued.
“At St. Joseph’s and any of our Unity Health Toronto sites, you will be asked questions about any COVID-19 related symptoms, to wear a mask and remember to maintain physical distancing in all parts of the hospital.”
Montana’s post has thousands of replies, most of them siding with the hospital staff.
“I thank the hospital staff for doing what they did. Safety of their patients was their primary concern,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Wear a mask. How incredibly selfish,” another Twitter user replied.
“You probably haven’t heard, but there’s a wee bit of a pandemic happening these days,” said another response.
City of Toronto spokesperson Brad Ross also responded to Montana’s tweet saying, “You’re doing social media all wrong, Letitia. Don’t make your name a verb. Put the camera away and don a mask inside public places, especially hospitals. Doing so protects others — you know, your fellow humans.”
Montana also said hospital staff asked her to leave and she alleges three security guards immediately escorted her out.
Wear a mask
How incredibly selfish!!!
— Marianne I (@Mairs86) July 6, 2020
I thank the hospital staff for doing what they did; safety of their patients was their primary concern
— Hersh Parmar, MD (@Phhersh) July 6, 2020
You probably haven't heard, but there's a wee bit of a pandemic happening these days.
— Barney Panofsky's Best Intentions (@mynamesnotgordy) July 5, 2020
You’re doing social media all wrong, Letitia. Don’t make your name a verb.
Put the camera away and don a mask inside public places, *especially* hospitals. Doing so protects others – you know, your fellow humans. https://t.co/CraeNc2GL4
— Brad Ross (@bradrossTO) July 5, 2020
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