Should runners wear a face mask outdoors?

A runner exercises outside.

(Bruno Nascimento/Unsplash)

Should runners wear a face mask outdoors amid the coronavirus pandemic?

It depends. You won’t always need a face covering while jogging or riding a bike if you’re exercising with no one around, but it’s good to carry one just in case.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people wear cloth face coverings when out in public, especially in places where it’s hard to stay at least 6 feet away from others.

If it’s difficult to breathe through a mask when running or doing other strenuous physical activity, find uncrowded trails or times to exercise when you won’t encounter others, says Mark Cameron, an infectious disease expert at Case Western Reserve University.

The more distance you can keep between yourself and others, the better, says Summer Johnson McGee, dean of the University of New Haven’s School of Health Sciences.

Masks are designed to prevent the wearer from possibly spreading the virus to others or being exposed themselves.

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