A new study from researchers in Denmark seems to indicate that surgical masks did not protect wearers against COVID-19, while the research shows coronavirus is airborne and scrubbing surfaces offers little to no help.
A new study conducted by researchers in Denmark found that people who wear surgical masks are not protected from becoming infected by the novel coronavirus, and were equally at risk of contracting COVID-19 as their non-mask wearing counterparts, the Daily Wire reported, citing a report by the New York Times.
The new study was published in the Journal of the Annals of Internal Medicine, citing the results of a large, randomized clinical trial.
The researchers acknowledged that their findings conflicted with those of a number of other studies. The researchers said their results are not likely to alter public health recommendations in the United States, where roughly 40 states have implemented some type of mask mandate.
Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden has said that he will implement a nationwide mask mandate when he takes office. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and a member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, also advocates a national mask mandate.
The main conclusion the New York Times drew was: “Masks prevent people from transmitting the coronavirus to others, scientists now agree. But a new trial failed to document protection from the virus among the wearers.”
In other words, if you have COVID-19 and wear a mask you are increasing the odds that you will not transmit it to someone else. However, if you are not infected, wearing a mask will not prevent you from contracting COVID-19.
Keep in mind, the study only looked at surgical masks. The study did not consider masks such as 3M’s N95 mask (not the Chinese KN95 knockoffs that use similar letters, but don’t contain a built-in respirator like the 3M model and offer the same level of protection).
Real N95 masks are still prioritized for frontline organizations and not being sold to the public on places like Amazon.
Scientists are increasingly finding that there is little to no evidence that the novel coronavirus can be spread by contaminated surfaces, the New York Times reported. The greater threat is airborne contamination.
Scientists say the virus is exhaled by infected people and lingers in the air, and airborne transmission is the most active route of infection. Researchers have found that scrubbing services does little to mitigate the virus threat indoors.
Instead, experts recommend that health officials focus on improving filtration of indoor air and ventilation.
The New York Times report concluded: “Scientists who initially warned about contaminated surfaces now say that the virus spreads primarily through inhaled droplets, and that there is little to no evidence that deep cleaning mitigates the threat indoors.”