Woman charged with battery after coughing in healthcare worker’s face


A visitor wearing a mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 passes a sign requiring masks, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in San Antonio. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared masks or face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state as local officials across the state say their hospitals are becoming increasingly stretched and are in danger of becoming overrun as cases of the coronavirus surge. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

TRUCHAS, N.M. (KRQE) – A Truchas woman has been charged with battery on a healthcare worker after refusing to wear a mask in a medical center waiting area on Dec. 3. According to a criminal complaint, a police officer was called to La Familia Medical Center in Truchas after Joy Ebel allegedly verbally harassed healthcare workers and coughed into one of their faces.

The complaint states after the third time hospital staff asked her to put a mask on, Ebel stood up, got nose to nose with a healthcare worker, and then coughed into the worker’s face. The worker is now working from home and does not have any symptoms.

Officials say Ebel also coughed into a second healthcare worker’s face. Both workers were wearing PPE.


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