A woman has received widespread criticism for refusing to wear a face mask at a Canadian hospital from which she was eventually denied treatment.
Letitia Montana recorded her interaction with staff at St Joseph Hospital in Toronto and shared the video on Twitter in a post that has now been shared thousands of times.
Ms Montana said she went to the hospital for treatment of a suspect broken finger.
She said on Twitter: “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.”
The video shows staff explaining their mandatory face mask policy to Ms Montana as they also ask her to stop filming.
“I’m not allowed to video but you’re making me wear a mask?” Ms Montana responds in the video.
Toronto City Council voted unanimously in favour of requiring masks or face coverings in enclosed public places as of July 7.
The new Covid-19 guidelines followed advice from the Medical Officer of Health, who recommended the city council use its authority to legislate for the protection of the health, safety and well-being of people in Toronto.
In response to the video, writer and presenter Emma Kennedy said: “Imagine posting this and expecting people to agree with you. Hope your finger gets better on its own.”
Another social media user said Ms Montana needed to “grow up”.
They said on Twitter: “If it were anything more serious and you were asked to put on a gown, would you refuse that, too?
“Hospitals want to (always) remain as sterile as possible and to keep potential patients as risk-free as possible. Grow up and wear the damn mask!”
Doctor Michelle Cohen said she was glad to see the hospital she trained at had “their priorities straight” by enforcing health privacy regulations.
Despite receiving thousands of her comments on her post,with many pointing out that the hospital had rightly denied her entry, Ms Montana insisted that face masks “compromise your health”.
In another Twitter post she said: “How easy it is for some of you to judge! The few times I put a mask on I could hardly breathe especially with the hot summer heat.
“This has lead me to do research on them & what I learned from the science is that they do compromise your health in more ways than one.”
Ms Montana, who according to her Twitter page works as as insurance and investment advisor, added that she would not “endanger” her life or her son’s for politicians.
When the new laws on wearing face masks came into force, Medical Officer of Health Dr Eileen de Villa explained the scientific reasoning behind wearing face masks.
She said: “Evidence shows that wearing a mask indoors can help reduce the spread of Covid-19.
“It’s a reasonable action to take to save lives. We all have a part to play in protecting our community and fighting Covid-19, and for most of us, that begins with wearing a mask.”