Wolf administration points to research citing importance of masks


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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Wolf administration is further insisting to Pennsylvanians that wearing a mask is important to dampen the spread of coronavirus, pointing to research that concludes so.

“The recent uptick in cases in southwest Pennsylvania have been traced to people not wearing masks in public places such as bars and restaurants,” Wolf said in a release. “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.”

  • A recent study, published in The Lancet and funded by the World Health Organization, identified 172 observational studies across 16 countries and six continents, that face mask use could result in a large reduction coronavirus infection risk, especially in combination with social distancing.
  • study by a team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University professor found that not wearing a face mask dramatically increases a person’s chances of being infected by coronavirus. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study’s findings stated, “not wearing a face mask dramatically increases a person’s chances of being infected by the COVID-19 virus.”
  • A recent modeling study by the Royal Society A notes that wearing masks in public could have a major impact on 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.”

State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine previously signed an order mandating mask-wearing which remains in effect.

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