More Research Points to Importance of Masks, Mandatory Mask-Wearing Order Remains in Effect

July 06, 2020

The Wolf Administration highlighted recent research studies that further point to the importance of wearing masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“The recent uptick in cases in southwest Pennsylvania have been traced to people not wearing masks in public places such as bars and restaurants,” Gov. Wolf said. “Research tells us that masks, while not perfect, make a difference in the spread of COVID-19 and are a simple and effective way to help protect ourselves and others.”

According to a recent, comprehensive study published in The Lancet and funded by the World Health Organization, which identified 172 observational studies across 16 countries and six continents, face mask use could result in a large reduction in risk of infection from COVID-19, in particular when combined with social distancing.

A study by a team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University professor has found that not wearing a face mask dramatically increases a person’s chances of being infected by the COVID-19 virus. The findings were published in the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). According to the study’s findings, “not wearing a face mask dramatically increases a person’s chances of being infected by the COVID-19 virus.”

And a recent modeling study by the Royal Society A notes that wearing masks in public could have a major impact toward reducing the spread of COVID-19. According to the modeling, “Under certain conditions, when lock-down periods are implemented in combination with 100% facemask use, there is vastly less disease spread, secondary and tertiary waves are flattened, and the epidemic is brought under control. The effect occurs even when it is assumed that facemasks are only 50% effective at capturing exhaled virus inoculum with an equal or lower efficiency on inhalation.”

“Study after study indicates the effectiveness of mask-wearing to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to keep the curve of cases flattened,” Gov. Wolf said. “That’s why we are requiring masks when in public. It is the most simple, effective way to protect yourself and others during our ongoing efforts to mitigate COVID-19.”

Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed an order mandating mask-wearing on July 1. It remains in effect. Frequently Asked Questions about the mask-wearing order can be found here.

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