Masks Not Very Effective at Protecting Wearers, Says New Danish Study

But masks are still likely to prevent infected people from transmitting the virus.

by Ronald Bailey

The urgency of trying to control the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred public health researchers to search for evidence-based measures that might work to protect the public from becoming infected. Non-pharmaceutical interventions have ranged from hard lockdowns to recommendations on social distancing and consistent hand hygiene. Along with those interventions, researchers have sought to evaluate the usefulness of wearing face masks as a way to possibly slow the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that masks don’t appear to protect the people wearing them, but are still likely to prevent sick people who wear them from spreading their illness.

This research may receive a hostile reception from some quarters, but it’s important to learn everything we can about when and how masks work.

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