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Dallas doctor says Texans should wear lighter masks -- in weight and color -- in the summer

With the COVID-19 virus still present in North Texas, many doctors are encouraging people to still wear face masks in public.

DALLAS — As it continues to get hotter in North Texas with summer approaching, it will be important for people to consider changing the type of face mask they wear when in public to fit the temperature.

With the COVID-19 virus still present as the economy starts to reopen, face masks provide protection from viral particles in the air.

However, as the temperature rises, the wrong face mask can cause discomfort and even possible medical issues. 

Dr. Mark Casanova, president of the Dallas County Medical Society, said people need to make sure their masks are light in both weight and color.

"Much like men in North Texas change their cowboy hats in style during the summer, you'll want to change the style of your face mask," Casanova said.

If the mask is too dark of a color, like black or dark blue, it will absorb UV rays and get hotter more quickly.

It's also important for the mask to be comfortable and allow you to breathe easily.

"Can I get good air exchange while wearing this mask?" Casanova said, talking what you should ask yourself. "You want to avoid a tightly occlusive face mask or one that is a dark color."

Casanova said remaining hydrated will be even more important during the hot summer months. If people are going to be outside for an extended period of time with the mask on, it's important to have consumed water throughout the day.

In terms of going out in public, Casanova said people only need to wear the mask in certain situations.

"If you are walking around in your own neighborhood or if you're doing yard work, and it's a 102-degree Texas day, you don't need to have that face mask on," Casanova said. "The face mask is for when you are in proximity to other individuals like grocery stores, work environments, restaurants or barbershops."

Casanova also said that he understands the fatigue people have with wearing masks, but it's important to keep doing so.

"The use of face masks is our ticket to more normalcy of our everyday life," Dr. Casanova said.

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