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Mask mandates reduced COVID-19 in about two-thirds of U.S. states

Swatches | June 1, 2021 | By:

Researchers who concluded that mask mandates contributed to a reduction in cases of COVID-19 in two-thirds of states noted that masks must be worn properly and deployed in conjunction with other mitigating measures for maximum effectiveness. Photo: © Martinmark,

An analysis from Texas Tech University’s Department of Environmental Toxicology has affirmed the benefits of mask use during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in April, the research analysis by doctoral student James Ayodeji and his adviser Seshadri Ramkumar, professor of chemical countermeasures and advanced materials, shows that roughly two-thirds of states saw a reduction in COVID-19 cases in the three to four weeks after enacting a mask mandate.

 The researchers examined confirmed cases of COVID-19 from April 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, in U.S. states with and without mask mandates. They determined that 63 percent of the states saw a reduction in daily and cumulative cases 21 days after the mandates began, and 66 percent saw a reduction after 28 days.  

Not all states saw such success. The data shows the potential difference face coverings can make, the authors noted, but only if mask mandates are adhered to and masks are worn properly. The use of face coverings in conjunction with other mitigating measures provides maximum protection, they emphasized.

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