CDC Study Shows Lower COVID-19 Cases with Recommended Mask Mandate Despite Vaccinations
After several weeks of schools opening back up for their fall semester, the CDC has determined that mask mandates are effective in preventing an increase in COVID-19 cases on campuses. On Friday, three studies in K-12 schools in Arizona were released by the CDC showing that schools with mask mandates in place are less likely to have virus outbreaks than schools that do not. Megan Jehn, a Researcher of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, stated: “In the crude analysis, the odds of a school-associated COVID-19 outbreak in schools with no mask requirement were 3.7 times higher than those in schools with an early mask requirement.”
Since mask restrictions have been lifted in many states, there has been an increase in cases in states such as Idaho and Florida, despite 75 percent of Americans having received the first dose of the vaccine. The data show that wearing masks is not the only preventative measure that is helping to lower the number of infections. Despite the rise of different variants, vaccines have also proven to be effective in lowering the possibility of outbreaks.
Earlier this year, the Mu variant originated in Colombia, but new infection rates of the variant have decreased dramatically. Latin America has also seen a reduction in COVID-19 cases since vaccines have become widely available. Citizens in Latin America have generally not been hesitant to receive the vaccine unlike other countries. Dr. Claudia Vaca, a professor in Universidad Nacional de Colombia, says that the advancement of vaccinations is responsible for the lower COVID-19 cases. Skepticism toward the vaccine among Latin American citizens is about 10% while Germany and the US, however, are experiencing about a 30 or 40 percent skepticism rate.
With only 7 of the US states enforcing mask mandates, the country continues to see high infection rates. The CDC and study data continues to express the importance of mask-wearing since they block potentially infectious droplets from transferring among people, but many state governments continue with lifting mask mandates.