NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Berkshire County is in the medium-risk category for COVID risk, the only in western Massachusetts county so far.

However with Covid cases rising, and hospitalization higher than before 22News wanted to find out what health experts are recommending when it comes to wearing a mask.

Doctor Armando Paez, the chief of the infectious disease division at Baystate Health said it’s important to look at where Covid stands when you’re making that decision.

“In cases where there’s an increased number of Covid-19 cases I think it’s good to use the same tools we’ve used before from a public health perspective [like] wearing a mask,” Doctor Paez told 22News.

Wearing a mask and being up to date on your Covid shots, are both tools Doctor Armando Paez said can help in the fight against Covid.

He said in areas with cases rising, putting a mask on in places like the grocery store is a good idea.

“I think it’s prudent to wear a mask in indoor settings and still in public where you don’t know if people around you have an illness or been vaccinated,” Doctor Paez said.

With mask requirements gone in virtually all settings, people have had to decide what they think is best for them.

“A lot of people in this town still wear masks and I think it’s a good idea,” said Steven from Northampton. “I have mine in my pocket. Even though the mask mandates are over I think it’s just good practice to have them and use them for the most part.”

Doctor Paez said while the mask mandate was dropped on airplanes, he still recommends keeping yours on, especially for longer flights.