Masks powerful and cost-effective in combating COVID-19
In a new analysis of more than 115 studies on the effectiveness of masks in controlling COVID-19, BYU professor Ben Abbott and three students found that "masks could be one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools to stop COVID-19 and accelerate the economic recovery."
This new meta-analysis found that masks are highly safe, with only minor and uncommon side effects. The report states that "In addition to many medical studies, public masking has been proven safe among children, adults, and the elderly in cultures where this practice has long been common."
Differing viewpoints about mask wearing have arisen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but Abbott's work has highlighted convincing evidence from multiple controlled experiments and field observations that wearing masks reduces the transmission of the virus for healthcare workers and the public.