The results show that increased mask-wearing — the result of a community-level mask distribution and in-person promotion campaign — led to a significant reduction in the percentage of people with COVID-19, based on symptom reporting and SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing. The team tested both cloth and surgical masks and found especially strong evidence that surgical masks are effective in preventing COVID-19. In the study, surgical masks prevented one in three symptomatic infections among community members 60 years and older. The findings come at a crucial time in the U.S., when many in-person events have resumed and children — including those who are under 12 and do not yet qualify for vaccination — are returning to in-person school. The full press release and study can be found at their respective links.
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