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Healthwatch 16: The importance of masks

Experts at Geisinger say it's important that folks out in public wear a mask to protect others.

DANVILLE, Pa. — Most of the people walking in and out of stores in downtown Lewisburg on Tuesday were wearing masks.

"It's not that I really want to wear a mask, but it's just appropriate at this time to protect yourself and protect other people," Angela Rice said.

Studies show that wearing a mask helps stop the spread of COVID-19. But many people are not on board.

"They're absolutely useless. It's not going to stop what's already out there. It's just a little piece of cloth," Cris Zimmerman said.

"Wearing a mask, having a mandate to wear a mask, has the biggest impact as far as preventing new infections," said Dr. Stanley Martin, director of infectious diseases at Geisinger.

Dr. Martin stresses how important it is to wear a mask.

"If you get infected, you will spread the virus on average to at least two or three other people. Even though you may be fine, those two or three other people may not."

Dr. Martin says it's not only important to wear a mask, but it's important to wear it the right way — make sure it completely covers your nose and mouth.

"You still need to make sure you're covering the nostrils as well as the mouth."

Dr. Martin says you wear the mask not just to protect yourself but to protect other people.