Despite discomfort in heat, health officials say keep your mask on when out in public

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Summertime has turned up the heat in Chicago, and the next several days are forecasted be sweltering.

Factor in face masks, and it could feel downright stifling.

Health experts advise that despite any discomfort, resist the urge to remove your masks when out in public.

"It's really important that people remain vigilant and realize that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. The coronavirus is in our community and we have to be extra careful," said Dr. Steven Aks, an ER physician at Cook County Health.

He said there are still many unknowns about coronavirus, especially how long it may linger in the air, and said masks remain an important means of protection.

"It's a time to be civic minded and think about others and that's gonna help us get out of this faster," he said.

Still, many people say it comes down to personal preference.

"It's for my safety and it's for other people's safety, so whatever I need to do to stay safe especially with the coronavirus going on, I don't mind," said Necia Stallworth.

"Now we're getting a little more crowded, so we'll probably put them on. But if it's freshair and you're not close, I'd rather have the fresh air," one woman said.

Children who started summer camp today in The Chicago Park District were required to wear masks.

Administrators said great care is taken to make sure the kids stay hydrated, and are not outside too long.

"At 90 degree temperature it does get a little bit more difficult to breathe with a mask so we try to limit it and change up the events for the day," said Alonzo Williams with the Chicago Park District.

Experts say if you are planning on being outside for a long period of time, use a more breathable cotton mask in a lighter color, and bring extras in case of sweat.
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