Help Stop the Spread.
Data demonstrates that in places where everyone is expected to wear a mask and complies, COVID-19 cases decrease.
When people wearing facial cloth coverings, it helps protect the entire community from COVID-19.
If we compare COVID-19 rates in states with various mandates and policies shows a benefit to more widespread masking in preventing spread of the virus. There are sixteen states that recommend, but do not require, residents to wear masks in public. In those states, new coronavirus cases have risen by 84% over the last two weeks. In the 11 states that mandate wearing masks in public, new cases have fallen by 25% over the last two weeks.
Where is the science?
This is a fantastic question.
Looking into the available science gives you the ability to understand why mask wearing is important and share the information with your friends. The above state to state data shows the results of residents of states where people wear masks by mandate and where there is no mandate.
Looking deeper, Lancet meta-analysis of preventive measures for this class of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and MERS, including masks, social distancing and eye shields. This publication illustrates how the evidence supports masking as an effective strategy to prevent spread—you can see the definite distribution of the study outcomes to the left of 1. It, however, gives a critical point of 1 meter distance—I am a little concerned that this might appear to conflict with our 6 foot separation recommendation, although there is greater benefit shown for greater distance (2m).
Does cloth really work or do I need an N-95?
N95 masks are for healthcare and front-line workers who desperately need this personal protective equipment. However, extensive evaluation of available literature supports the strategy of widespread mask wearing as an effective social measure in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Medical grade equipment is more effective than home-made cloth masks, but readily available cloth masks worn in public do make a significant difference.
Isn’t Social Distancing enough?
This paper has great information about that and you should read it!
Using NYC as an example, the author states that “The current mitigation measures, such as social distancing, quarantine, and isolation implemented in the United States, are insufficient by themselves in protecting the public.”
Wearing masks, along with social distancing, testing, contact tracing and focused quarantine strategies will help Alaskans defeat this together!