Do masks really work?

By September 7, 2021November 3rd, 2022Covid-19 News

A group of researchers from Stanford Medicine and Yale University this week released findings from the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) in a real-world settingdesigned to evaluate the effects of mask use on SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The researchers found that mask use, even when worn inconsistently in the community, can lead to a reduction in symptomatic COVID-19 cases. Additionally, relatively low-cost, targeted interventions promoting mask wearing can significantly increase the use of face coverings in rural, low-income countries, according to the results. Although the study is not yet published, the researchers have submitted the paper to the journal Science, whose editors encouraged its public release given the current public health policy relevance, as the pandemic worsens in many parts of the world. For now, the study provides a “gold standard” showing mask wearing is an effective way to limit symptomatic COVID-19.