The School of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported preliminary findings for weeks 0-2 for the seven-week mask observation study launched earlier this month. The purpose of the study is to estimate the percentage of people within the WVU community wearing masks correctly and, ultimately, increase the proportion of people who use masks correctly.
Use of face masks has been shown to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. WVU Health Sciences Vice President and Executive Dean Clay Marsh, MD, reinforced this in a recent message to the university community.
“As we’ve said many times, if 80 percent of people wear a mask, then we reduce the spread of COVID-19 like it would be as we start to immunize people with a vaccine,” Dr. Marsh explained. “But, if over 90 percent wear a mask, then we get to a level of a vaccine.”
For WVU’s study, baseline data collected the week of Oct. 5 indicated a little more than 85 percent of the 389 people observed were wearing masks and, of that number, nearly 84 percent were wearing them correctly.
The most recent preliminary data (Week 2) indicate an improvement, with 86.5 percent wearing masks and 88.3 percent wearing them correctly. Refer to the table below for additional details.
The eight Public Health students who underwent mask observer training will continue to conduct observation sessions through Nov. 22.
“We thank you very much for wearing a mask,” Marsh shared in his video message. “We want 100 percent. In the Mountaineer spirit, wear your mask, physically distance, and we stop the spread of COVID-19 like we have a vaccine.”
For the original story, visit WVUToday. For guidance on how to wear your mask properly, watch and listen to Dr. Marsh below and refer to WVU's Return to Campus site for additional guidance and other mitigation tactics.
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