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BECKER RESIDENT IVY ACOSTA recently raised concerns over the Stellis Health mask policy. (Submitted photo.)

Becker woman raises concerns over masking

Recently, Becker resident Ivy Acosta reached out to the Patriot after an experience she had with the Stellis Health Urgent Care Clinic in Monticello. 

Acosta was suffering from stomach pains which would not go away. She called the urgent care clinic before they were open for appointments for the day on October 15. She scheduled an appointment but noticed on the clinic’s website that masks were required for patients. 

Over the phone, Acosta asked the receptionist whether it would be possible to not wear a mask. Acosta has, for many years, been unable to wear masks due to having panic attacks. She discovered this about herself as she was working for a veterinarian who required masks during animal surgeries. 

Acosta knew she would have panic attacks if made to wear a mask, and asked whether a face shield could work, or if there was other protective equipment she could use. Acosta was told that this would not be possible without a note from her general practitioner. Acosta said she had attempted to get such a note but was denied. 

The Stellis Health receptionist told Acosta there was nothing to be done, and Acosta attended her appointment with a mask on. She reported suffering two panic attacks while at the clinic. 

Acosta posed the question to the Patriot whether the masks are still necessary, as regulations in other businesses have been lifted. She cited studies that have shown some of the negative effects of masks, and said this may be the time for people to voice their concerns. 

The Patriot reached out to Stellis Health CEO Brent Wilde on the subject. Wilde stated that masks are required for all patients at this time. He said that patients who preferred to not wear masks were encouraged to take advantage of alternative treatment options, such as video health visits. Video calls with doctors have been a very popular option for many patients. 

“It’s very important to us that we do the best we can for the community,” Wilde said. 

He noted that the policy may change in the future, as Stellis Health officials see is appropriate.