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.