COVID-19 Mask Mandates
An analysis of the impact of mask mandates on COVID outcomes.
We extended previous studies on the impact of masks on COVID-19 outcomes by investigating an unprecedented breadth and depth of specifications, and our results demonstrate the policy implications for reinforcing the need to maintain and encourage mask-wearing by the public even after controlling for vaccination.
In this project, we show that mask mandates at the country-level (USA) had a significant positive effect on COVID outcomes (cases, hospitalizations and deaths), and that mask wearing (in 69 countries) similarly has a beneficial effect. This research was just published in the June issue of PLOS ONE, an open-access journal for multidisciplinary research in medicine and the sciences.
Collaborators include Matteo Chinazzi, Samuel P. Fraiberger, Alex Pentland, Kyle Staller, Alessandro Vespignani, and Deepak L. Bhatt.
“There was so much confusion about the effect of masking, mask mandates and attitudes towards mask during the early state of the pandemic. The world needed a study that investigated the effect of masks at different levels: geographic, temporal, attitudes and norms vs actual wearing, cases vs. deaths and hospitalizations, etc. We did it and showed that masks are overwhelmingly helpful in decreasing COVID-19 outcomes, even after accounting for vaccines.”