New studies confirm importance of mask use amid COVID pandemic

Coronavirus cases, deaths rising in Michigan

New studies confirm importance of mask use amid COVID pandemic
New studies confirm importance of mask use amid COVID pandemic

DETROIT – Michigan has set new records in several days in the last two weeks, including on Tuesday, with a new daily one-day record for COVID-19 cases and the highest one-day death toll in several months. And it’s not even flu season yet.

Nov. 11, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 229,285; Death toll now at 7,766

The easiest and most impactful way to slow the spread is to wear a mask, social-distance and frequent hand washing, but everyone needs to help.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on masks Tuesday.

We have learned an incredible amount about this virus since the spring, and it’s become very clear from the research that masks truly do help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

The benefits aren’t just to those around you, but also to the mask wearer themselves.

“You put a mask on, you prevent the exhaling of droplets that would infect others,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci. “It’s very clear you are protecting someone and their mask is protecting you. But recent data has now shown that, as a matter of fact, there’s also the added benefit to protect you from droplets and virus that’s coming your way. So it’s a two-way street.”

Fauci is refering to a collection of studies teh CDC now cites as evidence that a mask also protects the person wearing it. The study found masks with multiplelayers of cloth with higher thread count significantly reduced the numberamount of particles able to get out and to get in.

In the outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt -- a close quarters, high-risk environment -- wearing a mask reduced the risk of becoming infected by 70%.

And a study of households in Beijing found having the patient and all of their family members wear masks reduced the risk of the patient transmitting it to others by 79%.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University recently found making masks madatory matters too. Their study found Tennessee counties without a mask mandate have seen twice the amount of coronavirus deaths.

The benefits of wearing masks really highlight the risks of getting together with others to eat and drink when you can’t wear a mask.

Likewise small gatherings can pose a big risk because people are less likely to wear a mask around people they know well.

The c-d-c has been late to support universal mask wearing. How much do you think that has helped the virus spread?

The delay the CDC had in supporting universal mask wearing helped the virus spread, but we can change that now. Things are bad and they going to get worse, but wearing a mask is the one thing we can all do to help ourselves and others.

READ: Tracking Michigan COVID-19 hospitalization data trends

Track all of this data on our COVID-19 data page here.

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.