Changing recommendations regarding masks have caused some confusion and some skepticism. In reality, much of the early recommendations on masks were actually based on availability rather than science. It was crucial that the available inventory of masks were held for first responders and medical teams.
We’ve made a video that explains why wearing masks for coronavirus is necessary to stop the spread.
We’re all learning more every day
When COVID-19 first emerged, science hadn’t yet established a primary method of spread. We now understand that it’s primarily airborne and the amount of droplets inhaled appears to determine whether one becomes ill and can impact how ill.
When a person speaks, coughs, or sneezes, oral fluid droplets are generated. These droplets have been implicated in the person-to-person transmission of viruses like COVID-19.
Let’s clear the air
There are many documented super-spreading cases connected with activities – like singing in enclosed spaces – that create a lot of droplets.
Another route is when an infected person coughs or sneezes onto their hand or onto a surface. The uninfected person then shakes the hand or touches the surface, and transfers the virus to their own eye, nose or mouth.
It is also possible that an infected person can also cough or sneeze to create an airborne spread.
Keeping droplets from spreading is key, especially from people who do not yet know they are sick, so do not believe they pose a risk to others.
We know masks work
When wearing a mask, droplet transmission is greatly reduced and prevent infected people passing on the infection. When two people wear a mask, coupled with social distancing, the risk of infection is mitigated even further.
There are numerous studies that suggest if 80% of people wear a mask in public, then COVID-19 transmission could be halted.
We hope you’ll do your part
Some of you have called in seeking a doctor’s note to waive a mask requirement. You’re welcome to make an appointment to discuss this with your provider.
We support wearing masks because we are continuing to see new cases of COVID-19 and are concerned about protecting our community, staff and patients. Stopping the spread requires masks.
Masks Do Matter
Until a vaccine or a cure for COVID-19 is discovered, cloth face masks may be the most important tool we currently have to fight the pandemic.
We hope we’ve been able to illustrate why Masks Matter and that you’ll all wear yours.
Share this video to your family and friends!
“Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Implications of Infection Prevention Precautions,” World Health Organization
Singing as transmission – see section “Modes of Transmission” via World Health Organization article
“High SARS-CoV-2 Attack Rate Following Exposure at a Choir Practice” — Skagit County, Washington, March 2020, CDC
“If 80% of People Wear Masks in Public, COVID-19 Spread Ends,” Jeremy Howard, University of San Francisco Data Scientist
Community universal face mask use during the COVID 19 pandemic—from households to travellers and public spaces, Oxford Academic
Visualizing Speech-Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering, The New England Journal of Medicine
Rationale for universal face masks in public against COVID ‐19, Anthony Paulo Sunjaya MD, SMChristine Jenkins MD, AM, FRACP
Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19: implications for IPC precaution recommendations, World Health Organization
Has there been a study putting several people in a room together singing with masks on and one person that is positive. To see if people will still get infected. I doubt it. How about the people that sneeze into their mask and then touch the mask covered with the virus and then leave the virus on everything they touch. The mask doesn’t really matter, the virus is so small it passes right through it. That is the science.
The spread is inevitable, protect the vulnerable. Why are we still talking about slowing the spread when the hospitals are not overwhelmed and really never were. Stop the fake studies and report the facts.
Good morning Doug,
Thank you for your comment. Sharing the resources we’ve used:
– Singing is included under “Modes of Transmission” from the World Health Organization
– “High SARS-CoV-2 Attack Rate Following Exposure at a Choir Practice — Skagit County, Washington, March 2020″ from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Could you please cite your sources for the numerous studies that support wearing masks help stop the spread of Covid19. I would like to read them. Thanks
Good morning Lindsey,
Thank you for your comment. This post has been updated with the sources we used to create this video and content.
Please link the studies that support the data that you are sharing. While discouraging mask wearing a few months ago may have been because of availability, that is not how it was “sold” to the American people by doctors and the media.
In fact, we were told the absolute opposite of what you are saying now, and were told that wearing a mask does NOTHING to protect people, and that it was…you guessed it..”science.” Now you wonder why people question what is being told to them.
Link the studies please.
Good morning Amanda,
This post has been updated with the sources we used to create this video. Thank you!
I am very interested in the research that validates the claims you make in this video. All I can find is the science that proves masks do nothing to prevent the spread, in fact, they can cause more harm than good. I would appreciate being able to show the truth. Please send your scientific research, particularly the one that validates the claim that if 80% of the public wore masks, covid 19 transmission would be halted. Also, where did this video originate? Thank you!
Thank you for your comment. This video was created by our team based on research using trusted sources and reviewed by our medical/clinical team. We’ve updated the post with the sources we used.
Specifically, here is the link to an article written by University of San Francisco’s data scientist re: If 80% of people wore masks, COVID-19 could be halted.
Airborne and droplet transmission – World Health Organization
Universal masking may help in reducing droplet‐based transmission of COVID and contribute to flattening and shortening the curve.
From Oxford Academic, “until an effective vaccine is available, universal face mask usage may contribute to reducing transmission, preventing deaths and flattening the curve.”
Thank you; we hope this helps!
My friend sent me a message about Carbon Dioxide going up inside masks when worn for long periods. She was very concerned about her children wearing them all day at school.
Please comment or show if this is true.
Children under five are not recommended to wear masks. Over five, this is not a concern. The ‘dead space’ (which is the amount of air we might re-breath) with a mask is too small to impact us in any deleterious way. This is a common argument on social media but it’s absolutely not based in science. We have far more ‘dead space’ in our airways (bronchi, trachea, mouth) and we do just fine with that.
So if the masks work then why are cases increasing? The studies I’ve read says that if you wear a mask it prevents the large droplets not the fine ones flying through the air that the cloth masks don’t work to stop that. If they are so effective then why during the flu season aren’t masks required? They haven’t worked if cases are on the rise, so what is the next step? 2 weeks has turned into months with no relief so they don’t help against the corona virus anymore than they help against the flu every year. Why are the numbers manipulated, to scare people into submission?? Things don’t add up. When should we see results? If the masses are wearing them then why hasn’t the curve flattened?
Hello, Ronda. These are great questions, and here is our Medical Director’s response:
“These are really good questions. We have good evidence cloth masks when worn by two people can stop the spread of virus between them both in short exposures and with prolonged exposure. That said, cases have been rising (or haven’t decreased), so it feels frustrating for those who are using masks. The past month, the cases have been rising in the younger age groups. We don’t know for sure why that is. We can’t even say with certainty why the US is impacted by COVID more heavily than in most other countries, but lower adherence to mask and distancing guidelines may be the prime issue.
Why aren’t masks required in influenza (flu) season? I don’t expect COVID will be completely controlled when our usual flu season (December through March) hits us this year. It will be an interesting experiment to see whether widespread mask use makes a significant difference flu – one of the top ten causes of death in the US. But remember, the difference between the flu and COVID is that with flu there is a bit of carryover immunity from past illness and past vaccination. About 1 in 10 or less of the population actually gets flu each year. With COVID, there appears to be no inherent immunity so unabated it could spread and kill dramatically more people.
Although we are seeing alarming numbers with COVID, it’s important to note that the percent of the population who has been impacted to date is still quite low, 3-5% by some estimates. That means our measures are slowing it, but also that we’re in this for the long haul.”
We hope this feedback helps.
There are studies…a few of them quite recent…that draw quite a different conclusion. These studies involve both N95 & cloth masks. As someone with a scientific background, this leads me to conclude that results of masks being effective in blocking viruses or other residual effects is quite mixed. Why is this information being either neglected or ignored to push a mainstream or government narrative on masks when the science doesn’t wholeheartedly support the conclusions in this video? Thank you.