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Mask-Wearing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Ashwin Aravindakshan; Jörn Boehnke; Ehsan Gholami; Ashutosh Nayak.
  • Ashwin Aravindakshan; University of California, Davis
  • Jörn Boehnke; University of California, Davis
  • Ehsan Gholami; University of California, Davis
  • Ashutosh Nayak; University of California, Davis
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20192971
ABSTRACT
Masks have been widely recommended as a precaution against COVID-19 transmission. Several studies have shown the efficacy of masks at reducing droplet dispersion in lab settings. However, during the early phases of the pandemic, the usage of masks varied widely across countries. Using individual response data from the Imperial College London -- YouGov personal measures survey, this study investigates the effect of mask use within a country on the spread of COVID-19. The survey shows that mask-wearing exhibits substantial variations across countries and over time during the pandemics early phase. We use a reduced form econometric model to relate population-wide variation in mask-wearing to the growth rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases. The results indicate that mask-wearing plays an important role in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Widespread mask-wearing within a country associates with an expected 7% (95% CI 3.94% -- 9.99%) decline in the growth rate of daily active cases of COVID-19 in the country. This daily decline equates to an expected 88.5% drop in daily active cases over a 30-day period when compared to zero percent mask-wearing, all else held equal. The decline in daily growth rate due to the combined effect of mask-wearing, reduced outdoor mobility, and non-pharmaceutical interventions averages 28.1% (95% CI 24.2%-32%).
Full text: Available Collection: Preprints Database: medRxiv Document Type: Preprint Language: English Year: 2020

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Full text: Available Collection: Preprints Database: medRxiv Document Type: Preprint Language: English Year: 2020
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