Wearing Face Masks and Social Distancing Actually Work to Contain COVID-19, According to a New Study (Time)
“a study published Monday in The Lancet, researchers provide the strongest evidence yet that these practices do indeed lower the risk of spreading the virus.
An international group of scientists, led by senior author Dr. Holger Schunemann, professor of clinical epidemiology and medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, analyzed 172 studies conducted in 16 countries that looked at the connection between social distancing, wearing masks, and wearing eye protection, and the risk of transmitting the virus. The studies included people with COVID-19 infections in addition to those with two other diseases caused by coronaviruses, SARS and MERS. The studies were observational, meaning that they tracked infection rates among people who practiced any of the aforementioned behaviors. Of the 172 studies, 44 (involving more than 25,000 participants) also included comparisons between those who followed the behaviors and those who did not.
When it comes to social distancing, the analysis showed that, on average, the risk of getting infected when remaining 1 meter (a little more than 3 ft) from an infected person was about 3%, while staying less than 1 meter apart upped the risk to 13%. The further people stand away from one another, the lower their risk. In fact, the risk drops by half for every additional meter of distancing up to 3 meters (about 10 ft).”
“A new analysis finds masks and social distancing help but hand washing and other measures are still needed to control the coronavirus.
Researchers concluded single-layer cloth masks are less effective than surgical masks, while tight-fitting N95 masks provide the best protection. A distance of 1 meter (more than 3 feet) between people lowers the danger of catching the virus, while 2 meters (about 6 1/2 feet) is even better.
Eye protection such as eyeglasses or goggles can help too. None of the strategies work perfectly and more rigorous studies are needed, according to the analysis published Monday.”
Don’t think you need a face mask for coronavirus? See what UNC study shows. (Triad Business Journal – (Subscription required)
“A new study from UNC focusing on how coronavirus spreads found that the nasal cavity is usually the first site of infection – potentially re-enforcing the importance of face masks and giving future insight for preventative care.
This week, researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health published a new study in the journal Cell cataloguing the ways the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain infects the nasal cavity to a greater degree than lower parts of the respiratory tract.
According to researchers, studies of how the virus infected cultured cells from different parts of the respiratory system showed “striking pattern of continuous variation, or gradient” from “relatively high infectivity” of nasal cells to “relatively low infectivity in lung cells.”
The cells lining the throat and bronchia were also found to have less infectivity than nasal cells.
“If the nose is the dominant initial site from which lung infections are seeded, then the widespread use of masks to protect the nasal passages, as well as any therapeutic strategies that reduce virus in the nose, such as nasal irrigation or antiviral nasal sprays, could be beneficial,” said Dr. Richard Boucher, co-senior author of the study and director of the Marsico Lung Institute at the UNC School of Medicine.”
“Reopening playbooks and opportunistic devices make many promises but beg the question, “So what?” What do you do when your device alerts you that a shopper has a temperature of 101°F? I can only imagine the legal ramifications (HIPAA) of emailing a person’s identity and their temperature through unsecured systems. How do you, or your shoppers, know that sanitizing is being done?
Many of these efforts make for good optics but lack substance. This was substantiated during a recent conversation with a retail manager in which she commented on all the visual references to cleaning and sanitizing in her company’s advertising, but said “all I see in the store is a person without a mask mopping the floor.”