DETROIT – If you spent time outside recently, you probably saw some people wearing masks and others not. Should you wear a mask outside during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis?
If you are outside in your own yard with your own family, you don’t need a mask.
If you’re going for a run or a walk in an area where you aren’t going to be near other people, you don’t need a mask.
But the situation gets trickier if you’re going to be outdoors in a place where there will be several other people.
The coronavirus dissipates much more quickly outside, but the more people around, the more likely the risk.
In February, researchers in Wuhan, China, sampled the air in several public places and found the virus was undetectable or existed only in very low concentrations.
There were two exceptions, though: 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 it’s another reason to avoid areas with many people, even if you’re outside.
The bottom line is if you are going to be around other people outside in a situation in which it might be difficult to maintain social distancing, you should wear a mask.
Since it’s more difficult to breath while running or doing exercise with a mask on, experts recommend doing those activities in places where you can keep your distance from others.