Should you be wearing a mask while exercising outdoors?

Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware are part of a list of states requiring people to wear masks. But when exactly should you wear a mask? 

On a sunny spring day, it's no surprise that Kelly Drive is packed with people even during a pandemic.


"I needed to get out for health reasons to get some fresh air," Ty Hollins said.

Safe exercise is the goal. Hollins has a mask on him just in case

April Tomarelli, of Spring Garden, says she’s covering up whenever possible.

"When I was running, I had to keep taking it down and up to be able to breathe," she said.

Others on this populated trail are following the city Department of Health’s direction that masks are not necessary when exercising outdoors. FOX 29 asked Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley about this exact scenario in Tuesday's press briefing.

"We’ve been saying it’s okay for people to go out for a walk or run or bike ride to get exercise to get through this as long as they stay away from people," he said.

However, distance can be tough in a city the advice is catching some people by surprise. 

Gov. Tom Wolf urged Pennsylvanians to make their own cloth masks and put them on when they go to the grocery store, pharmacy and other places where people congregate. 

“Wearing a mask will help us cut down the possibility that we might be infecting an innocent bystander, like that grocery store cashier, the pharmacist, or someone stocking shelves,” he said in a video news conference. “These folks are keeping us alive by getting us the supplies we need. We owe it to them to do everything we can to keep them safe. Right now, that means wearing a mask.”

Wolf urged residents to heed his order to remain at home, noting that masks “are not foolproof. So it’s critical our first act is to ask if we really need to leave our house.”

He added that residents should refrain from wearing the short-supply N95 respirator masks and other medical-grade masks worn by health care workers.

The Department of Health posted guidance on masks on its website.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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