New studies show masks work

Sign requiring a mask.
Sign requiring a mask.(Terri Russell/KOLO)
Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 3:13 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Masks have been called political, unnecessary, and ineffective. But some newly released studies may challenge those beliefs.

Take, for example, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak recently mandated masks in gyms. Those masks must be worn at all times. It is not an easy task. And some at the gym who are in good shape may wonder if it is even worth it.

There are recent studies with encouraging news.

“And we know that more and more studies have come out saying that wearing facial coverings really have made a dramatic difference,” says Dr. Cheryl Hug-English, Director of UNR Student Health Services.

Dr. Hug-English is referring to a recently released Centers for Disease Control study which shows mask-wearing not only helps a person from spreading the infection by releasing his or her air-born droplets, masks also protect another person from becoming infected by those droplets.

But there is more.

In Kansas, counties that implemented a mask mandate saw a 6% decrease in hospitalizations. Those counties in Kansas who did not have a mask mandate saw a 100% increase in hospitalizations. A Tennessee study out of Vanderbilt University showed a much slower growth of hospitalizations for COVID-19 in counties that followed mask mandates.

And in Utah, statewide mask mandates had an economic impact. Their research revealed shoppers felt more comfortable and spent more when masks were required.

Another study released just two days ago by the CDC looked at mask-wearing and infection compared to no mask-wearing or occasional use of masks.

Those who wore a mask consistently showed lower infection than the other two categories.

Interestingly those who wore masks occasionally did not lower their infection rate.

The study however also admits, those who wore masks routinely also practiced social distancing, as well as washed their hands frequently.

“We all want to do what we can to stop the spread of this virus,” says Dr. Hug-English. “And in our community particularly we are seeing numbers that have been increasing. So, it is even more important that we all take personal responsibility to do what we can by wearing facial coverings, social distancing, and using good hand hygiene. I think it is particularly important as we approach the holiday season,” Dr. Hug-English says.

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