Mask-wearing reduces the spread of the SARS-CoV2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Life Change Medicine believes that the wearing of masks by individuals over the age of 5 years, when social distancing is not possible, is an evidence-based way for people to reduce the transmission of this potentially fatal infection.
EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT MASK USE REDUCES THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS:
There is now ample evidence that wearing of masks can reduce transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Howard and Colleagues, a team of researchers who took a deep dive into what is known about mask wearing looked at numerous studies and additional evidence regarding the use of masks to reduce the spread of SARSCoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In their evidence review, these researchers report that:
“A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is likely via small respiratory droplets, and is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Reducing disease spread requires two things: first, limit contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and contact tracing with appropriate quarantine, and second, reduce the transmission probability per contact by wearing masks in public, among other measures. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at stopping spread of the virus when compliance is high. The decreased transmissibility could substantially reduce the death toll and economic impact while the cost of the intervention is low. Thus, we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of wide spread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.”
Howard et al., “Face Masks Against COVID-19: An Evidence Review.” PNAS.Vol. XXX No. XX. April 10, 2020. Accessed 6/27/2020. http://files.fast.ai/papers/masks_lit_review.pdf