New York City is on track to enter the third part of the state's four-phase reopening on July 6. Phase three allows for indoor dining and non-essential services like tattooing. However, we must remember that COVID-19 is still a serious issue we face. So, we must continue to wear face masks when in public. During the summertime, wearing a face mask can get uncomfortable. Despite the discomfort of restricting your face in the heat, face masks (in addition to social distancing) are still the safest option to protect against coronavirus in public places. The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers encourage you to resist the urge to remove your face mask in social settings. We are here to offer some tips to help you comfortably wear a face mask this summer and protect yourself from this deadly virus. Protection Against Coronavirus Wear A Lightweight Mask When wearing face masks in the summer heat, it’s important to choose a lightweight mask. While cloth masks are convenient and effective, many fabrics aren’t very breathable. We recommend wearing a surgical mask if you plan to be outdoors for long periods of time. A surgical mask provides the least amount of discomfort, and they are now available at many stores. Replace Damp Masks ASAP One of the things you have to worry about this season is sweating. Wearing a face mask in the heat can produce more sweat. If your mask gets damp with sweat, its ability to screen out coronavirus decreases. Consider carrying an extra mask to swap out when needed. Stay Hydrated Dehydration is a common concern in hot weather. Because of your restricted breathing when wearing a face mask, it’s even more possible to suffer from dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids when spending time outdoors. If you must remove your mask to drink, do it away from others. If you begin to feel dizzy or experience a racing heart, seek medical care immediately. Distance Yourself We understand that at times, it’s necessary to remove your mask to breathe fresh air. In this case, distance yourself from others while breathing without your face mask. Getting some fresh air is very important and needed to maintain a healthy quality of life. If you can social distance when outdoors, feel free to remove your mask. Keep Others Safe From Germs Summer not only brings about high heat but also grass pollen allergies. The pollen count is rising each day. When pollen triggers your allergies, be sure to sneeze or cough inside your face mask to keep others safe from germs. Many individuals do not show symptoms of the virus, so you could carry it and expose others without knowing.If you do sneeze or cough outside of your face mask, cover your mouth and nose with your arm. When possible, wash your hands often as well. We all must do our part to protect each other from COVID-19. For more information on how to manage your allergies or to book an appointment for an IgG antibody serology test for SARS-CoV- 2, call (212) 686-4448 today.