This 1 Thing Can Cut COVID Risk By Almost 50%, Study Says
Researchers have found that there is one thing the new infectious coronavirus can almost cut in half: the mandatory wearing of face masks.
Simon Fraser University scientists analyzed COVID-19 data from areas in Canada where mask mandates were issued. They found "up to 46 percent average reduction" in new COVID cases reported in the first few weeks after mandates came into effect.
The researchers found "clear evidence that wearing a mask can have a significant impact on the spread of COVID-19," they wrote. Read on and don't miss these safe signs you've already had with coronavirus to ensure your health and the health of others.
Mask mandates work
When examining data from 34 areas in Canada, the researchers found that mandates worked quickly and the number of new COVID cases decreased by an average of 25 to 31 percent in the first few weeks. When the parameters were extended to several weeks, new cases were almost halved in some areas.
"These findings were supported by additional survey data showing that mask mandates increase self-reported mask use in Canada by 30 percentage points, suggesting the policy has a significant impact on behavior," the study said.
Put simply, the scientists found that mask mandates worked: they were adhered to and results were achieved. "These results suggest that wearing indoor masks in public places is an effective policy measure to slow the spread of COVID-19, with little economic disruption in the short term," the researchers concluded.
The study's authors cited one caveat: They couldn't tell whether mask mandates were met over the long term or whether compliance declined over time, which may affect how far the pandemic ultimately spreads.
However, they said, "When combined with other policies, mask mandates can be a powerful policy tool to slow the spread of COVID-19."
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Face masks are widely used
Today the New York Times reported that face masks are widespread among the public: polls show the number of Americans who wear a face mask at least when entering stores rose from near zero in March to about 65 percent in early summer and almost 90 percent this month.
The novel coronavirus has killed more than 210,000 Americans, with nearly 7.8 million people infected. Public health officials have raised concerns about what this fall and winter will bring as cooler weather brings people indoors, where the virus can be more easily transmitted. The seven-day moving average of cases has consistently exceeded 40,000, far more than reported by these officials.
Do whatever you can to prevent you from getting - and spreading - COVID-19: wear your face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid the crowds (and bars and house parties), exercise You distance social contacts, just doing important errands, washing your hands regularly, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and not missing these 35 places you are most likely to catch COVID to help you weather this pandemic in the healthiest way.
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