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This One Thing Can Protect You From COVID, Says CDC

Doing this will save lives, says the agency.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Woman, wearing mask while talking on a mobile phone.

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a bit of controversy surrounding mask mandates. While some people believe forcing someone to wear a mask while out in public is violating their rights, others point out that it is actually protecting the rights of others, as it can prevent the transmission of COVID and in turn, save lives. Regardless of how you feel about mask mandates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released two studies on Friday, both confirming that they are effective in saving lives. Read on to find out what the study says—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Mask Mandates are Proven to Work, Says CDC

The first study evidenced that in those places where state and local governments issued mask mandates, fewer people were hospitalized with the deadly virus. As part of their research they looked at 10 different places, finding that hospitalization rates fell where masks were mandated among 18- to 64-year-olds in various sites across California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Oregon. The decline in hospitalization generally started to occur within three weeks in 40 to 64-year-old and after three weeks with 18 to 64-year-olds. 

"Mask-wearing is a component of a multipronged strategy to decrease exposure to and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and reduce strain on the health care system, with likely direct effects on COVID-19 morbidity and associated mortality," they wrote. 

"Because COVID-19 can lead to prolonged illness and require long-term treatment, the expected savings associated with the decline in hospitalization rates could be much higher than these reduced hospital costs associated with COVID-19."

The second study found that college kids, generally a group hesitant to mask up, will wear masks if they are mandated—85 percent of them at least. And of those who opted to follow the rules, over 91 percent wore their mask correctly. However, they did note that mask use was "significantly more common indoors than outdoors." While over 90 percent masked up indoors, just 67 percent did so when they were outside. They were also more likely to wear masks on campus than off. 

"These data provide evidence that adherence to university mask mandates is high," the researchers wrote. "Mask mandates have been shown to decrease SARS-CoV-2 case transmission, and widespread mask use is a core intervention for curbing the COVID-19 pandemic."

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How to Survive This Pandemic

Follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.