DURHAM, N.C. — More cities and counties are implementing mask mandates, but do people really have to follow them? Are there any legal protections one could take?

In the legal arena, Dan Bowling with the Duke School of Law said there’s a slight chance one could have a case if it’s because of religious or health reasons. Otherwise, masks better be up when visiting a local business.

But there are plenty more questions surrounding those living in the Triangle.

A major one? Would someone have a credible case if they caught COVID-19 while visiting a store or restaurant and wanted to file a lawsuit against that place?

His answer: not likely.

“How would one prove that I was in, let’s say, this hardware store and caught COVID in there?,” Bowling said.

He said while these lawsuits don’t stand much of a chance, it won’t stop attorneys from getting involved.

“There’s always going to be lawsuits,” Bowling said. “You’ll find lawyers that will sue a business for anything.”

For business owners, he said that’s it’s a good idea to make sure they’re following the mandate.

“You don’t want to spend half your profits on hiring lawyers to have that case thrown out,” Bowling said.