Research Article of International Research Journal of Public Health
Mask mandate and use efficacy for COVID-19 containment in US States
Damian D. Guerra1,*, Daniel J. Guerra2
1Department of Biology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America;
2Authentic Biochemistry, VerEvMed, Clarkston, Washington, United States of America
Background: COVID-19 pandemic mitigation requires evidence-based strategies. Because COVID-19 can spread via respired droplets, most US states mandated mask use in public settings. Randomized control trials have not clearly demonstrated mask efficacy against respiratory viruses, and observational studies conflict on whether mask use predicts lower infection rates. We hypothesized that statewide mask mandates and mask use were associated with lower COVID-19 case growth rates in the United States.
Methods: We calculated total COVID-19 case growth and mask use for the continental United States with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. We estimated post-mask mandate case growth in non-mandate states using median issuance dates of neighboring states with mandates.
Results: Earlier mask mandates were not associated with lower total cases or lower maximum growth rates. Earlier mandates were weakly associated with lower minimum COVID-19 growth rates. Mask use predicted lower minimum but not lower maximum growth rates. Growth rates and total growth were comparable between US states in the first and last mask use quintiles during the Fall-Winter wave. These observations persisted for both natural logarithmic and fold growth models and when adjusting for differences in US state population density.
Conclusions: We did not observe association between mask mandates or use and reduced COVID-19 spread in US states. COVID-19 mitigation requires further research and use of existing efficacious strategies, most notably vaccination.
Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, face covering, medical mask, mask mandate, nonpharmaceutical intervention
How to cite this article:
Damian D.Guerra, Daniel J.Guerra. Mask mandate and use efficacy for COVID-19 containment in US States.International Research Journal of Public Health, 2021; 5:55. DOI: 10.28933/irjph-2021-08-1005
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