BILLINGS, Mont. -- The CDC recommends all people wear a mask in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but wearing a mask isn't mandatory at most retail and grocery stores.
We sat outside of a local big box retailer this afternoon to watch as people entered and left a the store. In a five minute span, we counted how many people were wearing masks versus how many people were not.
In that time, we observed 47 people coming and going from the store.
While 10 people were wearing masks, 37 people chose not to wear a mask.
Now while this is not a scientific way of conducting a social experiment, it did prompt us to reach out to RiverStone Health for some perspective.
Shawn Hinz, Vice President of Public Health Services at RiverStone Health, says wearing masks isn't just about protecting yourself -- it's also about protecting others.
"Cloth face masks or coverings should be worn when people are in the community, like grocery stores, especially in settings where you're near people and you can't social distance," she says, "The logic is -- anyone wearing a mask is protecting the public against them. And they're wearing a mask to protect you against the virus too."
If you don't have a mask yet, you can make one at home. A tutorial can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html