Wearing a Mask Protects You Too: Study

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New research suggests wearing a mask doesn’t just help the people around you, it protects you as well. 

“So we're seeing these rates of not getting sick being driven up in places that mask,” said UCSF Infectious Disease Dr. Monica Gandhi. “So that’s why it’s important to message that masks help you, they help your family, and that’s why we all need to mask up.”

Gandhi led the team of doctors who gathered data from multiple studies to come to this conclusion.

“If you are wearing a mask, you get in less of a viral dose. You’re unlikely to get the infection, but if you do get the infection, you’re more likely to get asymptomatic infection having no symptoms or not getting sick,” she said.

They also studied multiple outbreaks at workplaces that were using face coverings.

“There was an outbreak in an Oregon seafood processing plant,” Gandhi said. “They had a COVID outbreak, everyone had been wearing masks, 95% asymptomatic.” 

This comes as President Donald Trump acknowledged Tuesday, he thinks masks have a purpose.

“I have no problem with the masks,” he said. “I view it this way, anything that can potentially help is a good thing.”

The UCSF doctors findings will be published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine next week.

“Population level masking is what has gotten many countries quickly through the pandemic,” Gandhi said. “We are not getting through it quickly, but we have to get through it quickly.” 

She adds that because we’re all being asked to wear masks, it’s important that it’s comfortable and that you can breathe through it. Even a thin cotton one serves as a barrier.

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