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Warm weather advice on pandemic precautions

The weather lately has been feeling like summer, but despite the heat and humidity, health experts are saying this isn't the time to let your face masks down.

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — It's been hot and humid and placing a mask on your face in the heat isn't ideal, but medical experts at St. Luke's University Health Network Monroe Campus near Stroudsburg say it's still necessary.

"If you need to take a break because you're getting overheated, you need to move away from a lot of people. If you're feeling dizzy, just back away from the crowd and you can take your mask off," said Tammy Meckes, a nurse at St. Luke's.

Monroe County is currently in the yellow phase of Governor Tom Wolf's reopening plan.

Meckes is a nurse at St. Luke's and is in charge of infectious disease control. She understands a lot of people are eager to move to the green phase as summer approaches but says safety standards still need to stay in place.

"The virus is still out there. Everything that we have implemented for COVID, the hand washing, the wearing of masks, the not touching your face, all of that stuff if just good health practice in general. We should continue those habits just to prevent the spread of things like the common cold, the flu, the GI bug. All of those things are important to continue to do even after COVID," Meckes said.

If you're planning a trip this summer, Meckes has some safety tips to keep you and your family safe.

"The best thing to do is self-monitor, especially if you're going into an area where there's a lot of community spread. Take and check your temperature and be aware of your symptoms."

Health officials want to remind people it can take about two weeks from the time a person is exposed to when you will start showing symptoms of COVID-19. Also, as we head into summer, it doesn't hurt to have an extra mask handy in case yours gets a little sweaty. Masks should also be stored in paper bags, not plastic.