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Wear a face mask in hot weather? El Paso healthcare leader says it’s ‘vital’

homemade face mask
MGN
A woman wears a homemade face mask.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) — Wearing a mask in hot summer months can be uncomfortable, but according to a local healthcare leader, it’s an action that’s still necessary in slowing the spread of the virus in our community.

“The risks of not wearing a mask greatly exceed the risk of wearing a mask in hot weather,” said Dr. Oscar Vega, the Chief Medical Officer at Las Palmas Medical Center. “As much as we can wear it as possible, particuarly in public, is vital.”

Dr. Vega urges El Pasoans to always have a mask on hand, and even to wear one while exercising at  an indoor exercise facility.

“Even in gyms, an enclosed area like that, even though we're breathing hard and sweating and though it may come somewhat uncomfortable, it is important to wear the mask,” Dr. Vega said.

Masks that are wet with sweat can become less effective, so Dr. Vega encourages individuals to bring a back-up mask with them. He said the only occasion in which he might not wear one would be running alone outdoors, though even then an individual might want to carry one in the event they came into close contact with another person.

Dr. Vega said the summer months can include one benefit: helping disinfect the mask. Between uses, Dr. Vega said he leaves his mask in his car to soak up UV light to help disinfect it of germs.

Coronavirus / El Paso / News / Weather News

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.

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