Dr. Fauci Says You Don't Need to Wear a Mask in This One Scenario

You're not going to spread COVID doing this, even without wearing a mask.

People have been exercising a lot throughout the pandemic. Getting outside to work out in the park or go for a jog is a great way to escape the stressors that come with working from home during a pandemic. Guidance on whether runners and outdoor yogis need to be wearing masks if they are socially distanced from others has been somewhat unclear. Recently, Anthony Fauci, MD, cleared up some confusion about wearing a mask during one exercise. According to the nation's leading infectious disease expert, you don't need to wear a mask when you're riding a bike.

On Sept. 21, Fauci was a guest on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. Host Trevor Noah was eager to get answers directly from the source regarding mask wear. He asked Fauci whether we should be wearing a mask while riding a bike out on the street.

"No, not necessarily, but you should have [your mask] with you in case you come into close contact with people outside," Fauci said. "If you're alone and there's nobody near you, and you're riding your bike, you don't need to wear a mask."

Man riding a bike not wearing a mask

Doing a solo activity outside while maintaining social distancing poses a low risk of transmitting COVID, which makes wearing a mask less of a necessity. If you want to bike without a mask worry-free, you should try to pick a time and place where you're less likely to come in close contact with others, according to NPR. If you need to pass someone, ensure you do so with at least six feet of distance between you. Additionally, you should avoid being right behind someone for an extended period of time to avoid inhaling their droplets, in case they are infected.

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Fauci told Noah that he puts his mask on between bites while eating at restaurants, and recommends others do the same to mitigate their risk of contracting COVID. Noah also asked Fauci if he would wear a mask at a movie theater with only two other people in the seats. Fauci said he would keep his mask on to be extra cautious, but it's not totally necessary if you're socially distanced.

Each situation requires individual consideration when deciding to wear a mask or not, but the safest bet is to keep it on as often as possible. And for more guidance on staying healthy, This Common Habit Makes You 3 Times More Likely to Get COVID, Study Says.

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