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Do masks really work well enough to enforce a mandate in schools?

Masks have caused an uproar across the country as schools prepare to bring kids back for in-person learning this year.

Many parents claim masks are ineffective and that schools have no right to enforce them on their children. Other parents want the masks mandated in order to feel safer about their children being back in school.

What does the data say about masks?

Melissa Bronstein, Senior Director of Infection Prevention at Rochester Regional Health, says that it reduces the rate that COVID-19 spreads, so someone who has it is less likely to transmit it to others.

She also pointed out the fact that masks are used in operating rooms, and have been for years, because they’re effective.

Masks need to be washed and changed out regularly.

Some are not convinced.

A study in Denmark found that surgical masks did not reduce the rate that COVID spreads, but the authors of the study found the results to be inconclusive.

The CDC referenced when there were two hair stylists, both positive with COVID-19, that worked with over 100 clients.

Both the stylists and their clients wore masks, and everyone who spoke with the CDC had not contracted COVID-19.

Bronstein suggests that those who think masks do not work should think about what’s been done in healthcare for the last several decades and ask if what they think doesn’t work about masks fits in with that.