In some areas of the United States, like New York state, the answer is now a firm “Yes.” However, these requirements are still more of an exception than the rule.

That being said, according to Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, because the mask recommendation exists to prevent yourself from exposing other people, you should wear a mask in situations where you’re likely to come in contact with someone else, especially in close quarters.

“If you’re going to the supermarket, you should wear a mask,” he stressed. “There’s no doubt about that.”