Transcript for How to stay safe and cool with masks this summer
As temperatures begin to climb and states continue to lift more restrictions, the big question is how to stay safe while enjoying summer fun. Dr. Ashton is standing by with why it's so important to keep wearing masks even in the summer heat but first Becky Worley has some hot weather tips to help you stay cool behind a face covering. Reporter: With summer heat starting to arrive, wearing a mask is more than just an inconvenience, it can feel downright miserable. Ooh. On a 78-degree day at my house in northern California, I use a remote thermometer to gauge the temperature of the mask I'm wearing. Heat will definitely make it more difficult for people to be outside with masks on. But it is not impossible and it is in fact very important. Reporter: Dr. Anne is an infectious disease professor and worked studying ebola in Africa and says while wearing a mask in the heat is hard, there are some ways to make it comfortable. You want to wear a mask that is light in color because dark colors will draw -- will get hotter faster. Draw the sun to you. Reporter: Sure enough my remote term she's up to 105 degrees for a black mask. But with a lighter paper surgical mask, a little cooler, coming in at 94 degrees. Dr. Rimoin says to make sure it shouldn't be too tight. There should be a seal around the edge but room between your mouth and the cloth to allow for airflow. Cotton masks are best because they absorb sweat. But they recommend taking extras with you so you can swap them out to avoid skin irritation. But if you're worried about wearing a mask in the heat, she says limit the time you'll need to be outside wearing one. Making sure that you have something that is comfortable to you will make a very big difference. Thank you, Becky Worley, for that great information. We bring in ABC's chief medical associate Dr. Jennifer Ashton with a few questions. We have a few questions for you, doc. Everybody is eager to get out and enjoy the summer weather. How does being indoors versus outdoors impact the spread of the virus. According to a top epidemiologist from Ohio state university think of four elements. Time, space, people and place and let me show you what I mean. If you look at just the dynamics of a sneeze, indoors under experimental conditions can you see the particles have been found to travel up to at least 26 feet. Then if you take a situation indoors based on a real case report from China like a restaurant, for example, when one infected woman was found to infect people sitting as far as 15 feet away from her. Again, you're talking about prolonged time, a lot of people in an indoor space so I think that really makes sense. Sneezing graphic really gave us a good indication of how big the spread can be. But what do we know about why masks are so important for everybody to wear? Well, there was a great demonstration in Diane sawyer's recent special that I think really illustrates it. Masks literally work as a barricade or barrier that can block the number of particles that are released into the environment so on the left you see someone, no mask, just speaking. On the right with a mask, you can see there's a big difference and, again this, is under controlled environment just talking, Michael, so the masks can be effective to protect others. When it comes to re-opening and summer activities people try to judge what I do, what don't I do, what is high risk versus low risk? Well, to be clear first of all the since on this is still evolving but some commonsense stratification of risk here. We think at this time that high-risk activities would include going to indoor restaurants because, again, time, space, people, place, all at play there. Religious gatherings, birthday parties, indoor celebrations or events like weddings or funerals and then low risk activities, basically things outdoor, beach, pool, camping, staying at a hotel generally low risk, small backyard gatherings, again, outside. No such thing as zero risk but low risk. You got to weigh the risk and reward. Thank you, Dr. Ashton, really appreciate you.
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