Wearing a mask can reduce coronavirus transmission by 75%, new study claims

Cover your faces please.

As the debate over the effectiveness of wearing masks during a pandemic continues, a new study gives weight to arguments by medical professionals and government leaders that wearing a mask does indeed reduce virus transmission — and dramatically so.

Experiments by a team in Hong Kong found that the coronavirus’ transmission rate via respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by as much as 75% when surgical masks were used.

“The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge,” Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung, a leading microbiologist from Hong Kong University who helped discover the SARS virus in 2003, said Sunday.

The team’s conclusion comes after months of conflicting information from world health bodies concerning masks. The World Health Organization has questioned their effectiveness outside of medical settings, while governments including those in the U.S. and U.K. initially urged citizens to leave them for health worker use, only to later make a U-turn and encourage widespread mask-wearing.

Florida’s COVID-19 Data Manager Is Removed, Hints At Data Suppression

A lot of these states that were aggressive to reopen are most likely juking the stats.

The state official managing Florida’s public “dashboard” of COVID-19 data says that her office has been removed from the project — and questioned the Department of Health’s commitment to “accessibility and transparency.”

Rebekah Jones, the geographic information system manager for DOH’s Division of Disease Control and Health Protection, wrote in an email, distributed Friday that authority over the dashboard was taken away from her office on May 5. The sharply worded email, which was shared with the Herald by a recipient of the message, was addressed to users of the state’s data portal, which includes researchers and journalists. It was not clear who replaced her and her staff.

“As a word of caution, I would not expect the new team to continue the same level of accessibility and transparency that I made central to the process during the first two months,” wrote Jones, who holds a Ph.D. in geography from Florida State University. “After all, my commitment to both is largely [arguably entirely] the reason I am no longer managing it.”