It’s hot, but experts say masks are necessary in every season

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BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) — It’s been hot and steamy across the Cape Fear, but doctors say masks are still necessary. We are all trying to avoid the coronavirus, but research shows it’s sticking around for a while.

“Something we need to get used to the idea of wearing masks,” Jason Honaker, a physician assistant with Novant Oceanside Family Medicine in Bolivia, said. “If the other person that you’re nearby is also wearing a mask, it reduces the particles that they’re expelling. The combination of everyone wearing a mask significantly reduces the risk of virus transmission from person to person.”

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Honaker says the restrictions don’t change with the seasons.

“Surgical masks are not virus filtering,” Honaker said. “They do not have that capability, but because of how the novel coronavirus spreads, based on the information we have from studies so far, it is spread through aerosol-sized particles as we speak, sneeze, cough, and laugh.”

Whether handmade or N95, health experts say masks are one of the best tools you can use to protect yourself and others.



Honaker adds if you’re sweating and your mask gets wet, you need to replace it. He says wet masks don’t work.

“We don’t have a lot of great treatments,” Honaker said. “We have vaccine studies going on and different medication trials to see if we can treat it once someone has it, but still our most effective strategy is prevention of spread from person to person. The best way we do that is distancing from others combined with mask wearing.”

Honaker says trends show that younger populations are contracting the virus and, as we head into fall, experts are worried people will mass gather indoors and not practice the safety guidelines.

“It’s not something you would want to get and so that’s why in the medical community we stressed the importance of distancing and wearing your masks,” Honaker said.

Based on the Georgia Tech COVID-19 Event Risk tool, if you are in a room with 100 people anywhere across the Cape Fear there is at least a 90 percent chance one person in the room has the coronavirus.