RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Masks can be a hassle, but people have been wearing them for the past few months to protect themselves and others, but experts say you should still wear them.
A doctor explains why you should wear a face mask if you go out to upcoming events and celebrations. (KOTA)
"The virus only transmits from person to person for the most part. And so the only way for someone to get sick is to be exposed to someone's respiratory droplets. And so the way we can protect each other and ourselves is by everyone wearing a mask," says Dr. Nancy Babbitt from Creekside Medical Clinic.
Babbitt says when you're outside, the transmission of the virus is lower, but if you're in a packed group and less than six feet apart, you're still at risk for spreading the virus.
"If it's not a windy day and the air is relatively stagnant, that also will increase the risk of the virus transmitting at a higher rate if you're outdoors," says Babbitt.
With upcoming events, Babbitt says it seems likely we'll see a spike in cases if people don't wear masks.
"We're seeing that in other states. Where there are large gatherings, and people are not wearing masks and not using the guidelines from the CDC for social distancing. Then we're seeing more outbreaks and the numbers going up. So that's likely to happen here as well if we don't show that we care for each other enough for each of us to wear a mask," says Babbitt.
And the best way to protect yourself.
"If you do go into a large crowded area, try to distance six feet from other people. And wear a mask, also bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently," says Babbitt.