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Intellect

BYU analysis of 115+ studies: Masks powerful & cost-effective in combating COVID-19

Studies show masks prevent infected people from spreading the virus to others by trapping the respiratory droplets

Two students outside on a bench with masks on.

In a new analysis of more than 115 studies on the effectiveness of masks in controlling COVID-19, BYU professor Ben Abbott and three students found that "masks could be one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools to stop COVID-19 and accelerate the economic recovery."

This new meta-analysis found that masks are highly safe, with only minor and uncommon side effects. The report states that “In addition to many medical studies, public masking has been proven safe among children, adults, and the elderly in cultures where this practice has long been common."

Differing viewpoints about mask wearing have arisen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but Abbott’s work has highlighted convincing evidence from multiple controlled experiments and field observations that wearing masks reduces the transmission of the virus for healthcare workers and the public.

Students Mitchell Greenhalgh, Isaac St. Clair and Jonas Bush helped with the research project. Read the executive summary and the full report here:

FULL REPORT: https://pws.byu.edu/covid-19-and-masks

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