A closer look at when you need to wear a mask outdoors

Virus known to dissipate much more quickly outdoors

A closer look at when you need to wear a mask outdoors

DETROIT – Masks can be difficult to wear especially when it is hot outside.

That is why people should be aware of when they do not need to wear a mask while outdoors.

“If you are outside in your own yard with your own family, you don’t need a mask,” said Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge.

READ MORE: Should you be wearing a mask outside during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis?

He also offered advice on whether you should wear a mask while leaving home to go running.

“If you are going for a run or a walk in an area where you aren’t going to run into any other people, you don’t need a mask,” said McGeorge.

However, it gets trickier if you are going to be outdoors in a place where there are a number of people.

McGeorge says the virus dissipates much more quickly outdoors, but the more people there are, the greater the potential risk.

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Back in February, researchers in Wuhan, China sampled the air in several public places and found the virus concentration in the air was undetectable or extremely low in most places.

However, they did detect more virus in the air in two places by a crowd in front of a store and a crowd near a hospital.

It’s not clear if there was enough virus in the air to infect someone, but this is exactly why you want to avoid areas with lots of people even if you are outdoors.

The more people there are, and the fewer masks you see, the greater the potential risk.

Overall, if you are going to be around other people outdoors and it is potentially going to be difficult to maintain social distancing, you should be wearing a mask.

If you would rather not, consider doing activities in places where you won’t be running into people you cannot easily avoid.

About the Author:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.