Ryan Bentson filmed his experience at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Feb. 7, 2021. He was arrested and removed for not complying with the hospital’s mask mandate. (Ryan Bentson - Facebook)

Ryan Bentson filmed his experience at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Feb. 7, 2021. He was arrested and removed for not complying with the hospital’s mask mandate. (Ryan Bentson - Facebook)

Vernon man with double lung transplant arrested for not wearing mask in hospital

Face shields vs. masks: Double lung transplant recipient argues they’re the same

A Vernon man was issued two fines by RCMP Sunday, Feb. 7, after refusing to abide by Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s mandatory mask mandate. Although, in a video shared to social media, he claims the face shield he was wearing was sufficient.

Police were called around 2:45 p.m. to deal with an individual who refused to abide by the mandatory COVID-19 protocols, but Vernon North Okanagan RCMP said the man left the premises after they attempted to have him comply.

Media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski said the same man contacted police around 6:40 p.m. expressing his concerns. He was once again explained the COVID-19 protocols and was warned that should he return without following VJH’s protocols, he could face fines and would be removed from the property.

The man returned again around 9 p.m. wearing a face shield and carrying his smartphone filming the event.

Ryan Bentson, 53, who had a double lung transplant in 2011, said in the video he shared to social media that he was exempt from wearing a medical mask and refused to put a mask on when asked by hospital staff.

The more than three-minute-long video shows Bentson arguing with hospital staff and RCMP stating face shields and masks are the same and that his wearing of the face shield has never been an issue before at VJH. Bentson alleged when he was in hospital earlier that day, he had been assaulted by a pair of security guards.

In the video, Bentson says he’s worn the face shield to hospital appointments before and it hasn’t been an issue. The Emergency Program Act mask mandate order states “a face shield is not a substitute for a mask as it has an opening below the mouth.”

The officer, who had previously spoken with Bentson, again gave him the opportunity to comply, Terleski said.

“When it became clear the individual was not going to abide by the requirements, the officer arrested the man and removed him from the property,” RCMP said in a statement.

Bentson was issued two fines and, he said, was handcuffed, put into a police car, and was driven home where he was released.

“Our health-care professionals have a responsibility to ensure that regulations mandated by the provincial health order are followed in order to safeguard all patients and members of the public,” Terleski said.

“Our emphasis has always been to encourage compliance of COVID-19 restrictions through education and awareness,” Terleski said. “However, when required we will take the reasonable and necessary enforcement action to support the Public Health Order and safeguard members of the public.”

Bentson, who goes to VJH once a month for blood work, missed both scheduled appointments Sunday, and declined to go back to VJH Monday for a scheduled breathing test.

“I don’t feel safe going to the hospital anymore,” said Bentson, adding Sunday’s visits have left him “stunned, shocked and shaken.”

READ MORE: Goose cull on target for Vernon

READ MORE: Missing Keremeos girl found safe by RCMP


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, prepares a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Almost two in three Canadians surveyed recently said they trust COVID-19 vaccines to be both safe and effective. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Northern Health to open 30 COVID vaccine clinics for oldest residents, Indigenous seniors

Health authority says it plans to vaccinate nearly 15,000 people in Phase Two

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The village is hoping for a start date in early April with completion as soon as possible. (Granisle Village website photo/Houston Today)
Granisle’s curling rink to receive a facelift

Receives a $362,148 provincial grant

A huge milestone for Granisle to reach 50 years, said Mayor. (Village of Granisle photo/Lakes District News)
Granisle’s 50 years anniversary celebration postponed

The celebrations are now set to be held in 2022

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Deer in water. (Jeff Palm photo/Lakes District News)
Deer rescued from Francois Lake in Burns Lake

In the early morning hours of Mar. 8, a deer was seen… Continue reading

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complaints about that condo

Most Read