𝗗𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿? 𝐋𝐞𝐭’𝐬 𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐤 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐤 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬. 𝗛𝗼𝘄 ‘𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗻𝗲𝘄𝘀!

𝗗𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿? 𝐋𝐞𝐭’𝐬 𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐤 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐤 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬. 𝗛𝗼𝘄 ‘𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗻𝗲𝘄𝘀!

(Please share this post. We all need some good news about masks and our collective efforts right now. And, schools, churches, and businesses should take note of this data.)

I promise I’m not about to say to shut everything down. (I think some people think that’s what public healthers want everyone to do.) There is a middle ground that helps protect people, schools, grandparents, businesses, and the economy. One of the easiest steps is to wear a simple mask. If we can de-politicize this simple act, it becomes just a piece of cloth again. But, a powerful piece of cloth. Let me show you.

𝗜 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗧𝗲𝘅𝗮𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲-𝘄𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝗸 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲. 𝗔𝗻𝗱, 𝘆’𝗮𝗹𝗹, 𝗶𝘁’𝘀 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻 𝗧𝗲𝘅𝗮𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀.

A recent study compared COVID-19 infections before and after mask mandates in 15 states and DC. They compared 2 different scenarios: 1) states with mask mandates for the whole community versus 2) mask mandates for certain employers with close contacts (salons, etc) but not community-wide. They found:

𝗘𝘅𝗵𝗶𝗯𝗶𝘁 𝟭 – A slowdown in daily COVID-19 infections that 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲. Y’ALL, this is a big deal and really encouraging. Remember how COVID-19 can spread exponentially? The slow down can happen the same.
– – – The first five days after a mandate, the daily growth rate slowed by 0.9 percentage-points compared to the five days prior to the mandate.
– – – At three weeks, the daily growth rate had slowed by 2 percentage-points. In infections rates, that’s a lot!
– – – Were other shut-downs or mitigation strategies implemented during that same time? In other words, were masks really the answer? In most states, no other shut-downs or strategies were implemented. In fact, several states started re-opening restaurants, bars, or other businesses more. So, we can say with a bit more confidence that the lower infection rates were due to the mask mandates EVEN WHEN re-openings were occurring.

𝗘𝘅𝗵𝗶𝗯𝗶𝘁 𝟮 – The states with employee-only mask mandates saw no difference in the infection rates before and after the mandates.

𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻? Community-wide masking is working. A really simple act of wearing a mask works really well to your community, neighbors, schools, and businesses.

Let’s keep the good trend going if you’re in one of these states! If you’re not in a state with a mask mandate, this is some great evidence on what works and what doesn’t. This is not the time to let up on our vigilance in mask-wearing. This should indicate we need to continue with the community-wide masking – not lift the mandates.

It’s simple. It’s working. It can keep our businesses and schools open and families and neighbors protected.

-Friendly neighbor epidemiologist

Source: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00818

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