Incorrect Versus Correct Mask Utilization in Public Places

Publication date: Jul 11, 2023

Mask usage was mandated by public health authorities globally to decrease the spread of COVID-19. These recommendations were based on data showing that N95 masks and possibly surgical masks, when worn tight against the face, help slow the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, cloth and loose-fitting surgical masks are greatly inferior. Methods: Mask use by a random observation of 100 people in public indoor facilities was recorded and statistically analyzed. Results: Out of 100 people wearing a mask, 37 wore a cloth mask. Another 36 people wore a loosely applied surgical mask. Only 27 people wore a surgical mask that covered the nose and mouth and was applied firmly against the face at its margins. There were no people seen wearing an N95 mask. Overall, people were about 70% more likely to wear a surgical mask than a cloth mask (63 vs 37, p < 0.05). Of those wearing a surgical mask, more people wore it loosely than properly (36 to 27, p=0.17). Overall, people were more likely to wear a cloth mask or improperly applied surgical mask than a properly fitted one (73 vs 27, p < 0.001). Conclusion: In public settings, using cloth or loose-fitting surgical masks was almost 3 times more common than adequately using a tight-fitting surgical mask. Out of the 100 people observed, none wore an N95 respirator mask.


Concepts Keywords
Healthcare Cloth
July Correct
Masks4all Face
Pandemic Fragility


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease VO nose
disease VO mouth
disease VO population
disease VO effective
drug DRUGBANK Abacavir
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease VO effectiveness
disease MESH Influenza
disease VO Viruses

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