Infectious Disease Physician at Holy Cross Health Advises Wearing Masks Even in Warmer Temperatures
COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
“Cloth face masks are important to prevent people who may not yet have symptoms of COVID-19 from passing the virus to others,” said Dr. Margaret Gorensek, an infectious disease specialist for Holy Cross Health. “Warmer weather does however pose extra challenges to wearing masks. Using common sense is the best approach to staying protected against COVID-19 while avoiding overheating.”
Even with temperatures hovering around the 90s, and sometimes higher, in South Florida, it’s imperative to wear a mask, wear it correctly, remove it carefully and be mindful of following healthy habits.
Tips for Wearing A Mask During Warm Weather
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations. The exceptions are people under age two years old, those who have trouble breathing or who are unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Be mindful to:
- wear a mask when indoors or in crowded outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible;
- that if you must wear a mask outdoors, wear a mask that is light in color, as dark colors may become hotter;
- breathe through your nose when wearing a mask, which will result in less heat and humidity within the mask; and
- that if you feel overheated, remove the mask and rest in a well-ventilated, cool area.
Wear Your Face Covering Correctly
“It’s also important to wear your mask correctly,” added Dr. Gorensek. “Following some simple guidelines will help.”
- Placing the mask over your nose and mouth and securing it under your chin.
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
- Make sure you can breathe easily.
- Keep the covering on your face the entire time you’re in public.
- Don’t put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead.
- Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands.
Other guidelines to follow include:
How to Remove Your Cloth Face Covering Carefully, When You’re Home
- Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops.
- Handle only by the ear loops or ties.
- Fold outside corners together.
- Place covering in the washing machine (learn more about how to wash cloth face coverings).
- Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.
- Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use.
Continue to Follow Everyday Health Habits
- Stay at least six feet away from others.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
To learn more about how Holy Cross Health is helping our communities deal with COVID-19, please visit https://www.holy-cross.com/health-and-wellness/coronavirus.
ABOUT HOLY CROSS HEALTH
A member of Trinity Health, Fort Lauderdale-based Holy Cross Hospital, dba Holy Cross Health, is a full-service, non-profit, Catholic, teaching hospital operating in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy. Holy Cross has been named one of the top five hospitals in the Miami metro area and among the top 20 in the state in U.S. News and World Report’s 2019-2020 Best Hospital rankings. Through strategic collaborations and a commitment to being a person-centered, transforming, healing presence, the 557-bed hospital offers progressive inpatient, outpatient and community outreach services and clinical research trials to serve as our community’s trusted health partner for life. Holy Cross Health also encompasses Holy Cross HealthPlex outpatient facility, urgent care centers and more than 50 Holy Cross Medical Group physician practices. To learn more about Holy Cross Health, visit holy-cross.com. Connect @holycrossfl.