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Yes, masks are effective, major university study says

October 30, 2020

A University of Kansas study released this week backs up what UHS and other hospitals and health agencies have been saying for months:  Masks do work by significantly slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

Media reports have quoted Donna K. Ginther, director of the Institute for Policy and Social Research at the university, who stated:  “We found a 50 percent reduction in the spread of COVID-19 in [Kansas] counties that had a mask mandate, compared to those without.” 

While mask-wearing doesn’t eliminate the coronavirus, it significantly slows the spread of the disease, the study suggests.

The study found that counties with a mask mandate saw a decrease in their seven-day rolling average of daily cases per 100,000 population, starting 14 days after the mandate, according to Ms. Ginther. 

Counties without mask mandates saw the seven-day rolling average of daily cases per 100,000 steadily increase. And in September, those counties started to have higher case rates compared to counties with a mask mandate, media outlets have reported.

Wearing a mask is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, both national and UHS health experts have consistently pointed out.

A mask, combined with social distancing and hand-washing, can curb transmission of the disease and save lives. 

Patients, visitors and staff entering any UHS facility are asked to wear a mask, for their own safety and that of other patients, guests and staff.