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Mask mandates not associated with lower COVID transmission rates: University of Louisville biologist

A recent paper from Damian Guerra and Daniel Guerra concluded that mask mandates were not consistently linked to lower COVID transmission rates. Damian is a biology professor at the University of Louisville and Daniel is a biochemist.

The pair originally hypothesized that the mask mandates would lower COVID transmission rates, but their findings this not support this.

“Case growth was not significantly different between mandate and non-mandate states at low or high transmission rates, and surges were equivocal,” the pair found. “Mask use predicted lower case growth at low, but not high transmission rates.”

“Growth rates were comparable between states in the first and last mask use quintiles adjusted for normalized total cases early in the pandemic and unadjusted after peak Fall-Winter infections,” the paper said.

The paper reviewed the existing research on mask usage and finds it inconclusive.

While the face covering requirements “induced greater mask compliance” it “did not predict lower growth rates when community spread was low (minima) or high (maxima).”

The researchers said there is “not demonstrable evidence that masks reduce [COVID] transmission.”

While the masks are not effective, according to this paper, they can serve as “rallying symbols” for “political cohesion” the researchers said, though there are medical consequences of frequent mask wearing.

The pair concluded that “interventions” such as the vaccine or increasing Vitamin D intake should be promoted.

Read the paper.

IMAGE: Alliance Images/Shutterstock

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