Journal article

The introduction of a mandatory mask policy was associated with significantly reduced COVID-19 cases in a major metropolitan city

Nick Scott, Allan Saul, Tim Spelman, Mark Stoove, Alisa Pedrana, Alexander Saeri, Emily Grundy, Liam Smith, Michael Toole, Chandini Raina McIntyre, Brendan S Crabb, Margaret Hellard

PLOS ONE | PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE | Published : 2021

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Whilst evidence of use of face masks in reducing COVID-19 cases is increasing, the impact of mandatory use across a large population has been difficult to assess. Introduction of mandatory mask use on July 22, 2020 during a resurgence of COVID-19 in Melbourne, Australia created a situation that facilitated an assessment of the impact of the policy on the epidemic growth rate as its introduction occurred in the absence of other changes to restrictions. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Exponential epidemic growth or decay rates in daily COVID-19 diagnoses were estimated using a non-weighted linear regression of the natural logarithm of the daily cases against time, using a linear spline model..

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