A growing number of studies show face masks reduce the spread of coronavirus, which is why local doctors are sounding the alarm about the need for everyone to wear a face covering.
It's three months into the coronavirus pandemic and scientists have a better idea of how most people get infected.
It's not through touching contaminated surfaces or fleeting encounters with others outdoors.
The latest news from around North Texas.
It's through close-up, person-to-person interactions for extended periods of time, or in crowded events, poorly ventilated areas and places where people are talking loudly.
They're places where, doctors say, you should be wearing a mask.
"There are people trying very hard and are doing it, are wearing masks all the time and I think they're quite rightly afraid of this pandemic. They're afraid of going out, exposing others or getting exposed," said UT Southwestern Epidemiologist Dr. Robert Haley.
An estimated 230,000 to 450,000 cases of COVID-19 were prevented in the states that enacted requirements for mask use between April 8 and May 15, according to that study.
Whether they're required or not, local top epidemiologists believe masks, in areas where social distancing isn't possible, are key to avoiding a bigger surge and an economic fallout.
"A quarter of our population are not afraid of it and I think that's naive because we are seeing it now spread to all different kinds of people and those people are venturing out, going about their business and not wearing a mask. Those are the people contributing to maintaining this status quo. That is going to sink our economy in the long term," said Haley.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.