What you need to know about wearing a mask in the heat


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama’s mask mandate is now in effect, and temperatures across Central Alabama will be soaring this weekend. So it may not be comfortable to wear a mask outside, but a UAB doctor says you don’t always need it outdoors anyway.

Under the mask mandate, you’re required to wear a mask when in public if you’re within six feet of someone from another household. One of the exceptions is during exercise; no mask is required then. Dr. Rachael Lee, an assistant professor in UAB’s Division of Infectious Diseases, said that’s one of several opportunities to take a mask break.

“I wear a mask when I’m around people, especially indoors,” Lee said. “I take off my mask if I’m outdoors and I’m able to maintain six feet of distance. So you do need to make sure. It’s not just being outside that you can take off your mask, but outside and six feet of space.”

She said she’s a big proponent of taking a break from wearing a mask when you can. At the beach for example, you can take the mask off if you’re a safe distance from other people. But it’s important, she said, to keep a mask with you in case you need it.

“I think mask fatigue is a real thing. I think fatigue from this virus is a very real thing,” Lee said. “But I can tell you right now, the virus is not tired of us. And I think just continuing to remind people that we have to be diligent, we have to take care of our loved ones and wear a mask.”


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