JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Is a local registered nurse selling mask and vaccine opt out forms at a public park? That’s the claim that’s now under investigation after complaints from fellow health care professionals.
The News4Jax I-TEAM went undercover Thursday at a park in Jacksonville Beach after getting multiple tips that a licensed nurse was offering to sign forms to get children and employees out of mask mandates or vaccine requirements.
I-TEAM cameras recorded as women walked up with forms in their hands. They sat down with a woman who was waiting at a picnic table under a pavilion with her children nearby.
She could clearly be seen signing their papers.
One of the mothers tucked the form away and they begin to chat.
The I-TEAM is investigating claims related to Facebook posts, where a woman was advertising she’d sign mask opt-out forms. News4Jax has chosen not to identify her, for the time being, because it’s unclear if she has committed a crime.
In the post, she advertises that she’s selling herbal supplements, but she goes on to write:
“Also available to sign off on Florida exemptions for masks and vaccines (religious only for vax).”
Hundreds of comments followed, many with people requesting an exemption.
“I’d like to get a religious exemption for both my hubby and I but we are both at home with covid currently,” said one commenter.
Others said they were sending private messages.
The nurse posted two addresses where she’ll meet: one at the beachfront public park and the other at a gas station on the Northside of Jacksonville. And she included her handle for an online payment application.
As the I-TEAM was investigating, so were the Jacksonville Beach Police.
Officers arrived and a sergeant talked to the nurse. As she walked to her SUV, he told News4Jax she was not practicing medicine. She had no response when asked about why she was signing opt-out forms at a public park.
“I don’t wanna talk to you,” she said. “Please leave. Please leave me alone.”
The I-TEAM found her nursing license with the state of Florida and it’s active. However, is signing exemption forms for masks and vaccines in a public park illegal?
“I’m concerned about whether or not they’re practicing medicine in a park,” said private attorney Gene Nichols, who analyzed the legalities of the case. “And I’m concerned whether or not they are in essence peddling selling items without a permit.”
“We have to look to see whether or not even a registered nurse is obligated to perform some sort of medical examination of an individual before they just fill out a form,” he said.
A representative with the Florida Department of Health Duval told News4Jax:
- Someone practicing beyond the scope of their license can be reported
- A medical provider would have to perform an exam to sign an opt out form
- Scenarios like this are happening across the state
The I-TEAM did not see the woman doing any exams on children or parents, just the signing of papers.
Jacksonville Beach police did write a report, however, they did not give a citation or press any charges. They said they’ll be releasing the completed document later. Sources tell the I-TEAM there are multiple complaints now made to the state, including to the Board of Nursing.
Jacksonville Beach city ordinance number 20 prohibits the sale of services or goods in a public park without a permit.