PSA: No need to wear a mask while driving, outside by yourself


When should you NOT wear a mask?

OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – Jumping in the car to head to town, if you’re by yourself, an Ohio County Health Administrator says the mask doesn’t do much. So, when should we put one on?

You’re an Uber driver, ect., in which you have people in the vehicle with you, at that point, you need to wear a mask. But if you’re in your own personal vehicle, or with your own family, there’s no need to wear a mask.

Howard Gamble, Administrator with Ohio County Health Department

Unless you’re a delivery worker, constantly hopping in and out of the car.. by yourself, your mask becomes more of a fashion statement. However, during this pandemic, they *do serve a purpose.

They’re filtering out the virus so that it doesn’t come across a distance so that an individual doesn’t breathe that in.

Howard Gamble, Administrator with Ohio County Health Department

Some procedure masks are a one-time use. Gamble says he’s heard of people microwaving masks to kill germs…but don’t do that! Some have metal built in, so you may end up killing your microwave instead.

The N95 is best suited for health-care workers who are getting up-close and personal with patients. Since it’s so taught to the face, the N95 mask is not for everyday use. If worn too long, you could get dizzy from too much carbon-dioxide. But, cloth-procedure masks are the most practical for the public; they can be washed and still add barrier when you go support local businesses.

Cloth is great! It lets in a lot of air, and it lets out a lot of air. Now so, if we’re wearing a procedure mask, they’re not as dense, and they’re a little easier for the air to come in and out; filter out any virus coming in and out to a degree. As we have other masks that are N-95 that are more dense, and yes that’s a little more difficult to suck in air and push it back out. N95s are usually worn on a limited basis.

Howard Gamble, Administrator with Ohio County Health Department

Slowing this virus’s spread is like an onion:

Keep in mind, it’s just different layers. One, we have the social distancing. Two, you’re not out if you’re sick. And three, we have a mask.

Howard Gamble, Administrator with Ohio County Health Department

And while some dread wearing them, this is a reminder that we don’t ALWAYS have to keep one on.

This current virus we’re dealing with, when you’re outdoors, there is no need to wear a mask when you can keep a large distance.

Howard Gamble, Administrator with Ohio County Health Department

Now, you should already be keeping at least 6 feet distance on the road, so masks really need not apply. And the Health Department Official says similarly, if you’re out for a jog by yourself, unless you have allergies or are immune compromised, the open space is already sufficient to stop the spread of the virus.

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