Virus cases dropped in Kansas counties with mask orders, rose in those without, CDC report says

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Picture of mask sign on door

TOPEKA, Kan. — Mask mandates have proven affective in lowering the infection rate of the coronavirus, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Counties with mask mandates experienced a decrease of 6% in their seven-day infection average at the height of the summer spike. Those that did not have a mandate experienced a 100% increase.

Data shows that counties’ seven-day average of coronavirus cases were all increasing in the beginning of July, seeing spikes in cases the likes of which had not yet been recorded.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a statewide mask mandate, beginning on July 3. However, counties could choose to opt out of the mandate. As of Aug. 11, 81 counties did not have a mask mandate.

“After implementation of mask mandates in 24 Kansas counties, the increasing trend in COVID-19 incidence reversed,” according to the CDC’s analysis. “Kansas counties that had mask mandates in place appear to have mitigated the transmission of COVID-19, whereas counties that did not have mask mandates continued to experience increases in cases.”

Mask mandate graphic from the CDC
Graphic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The results match what health officials have seen across 15 states and the District of Columbia that have issued mask mandates.

“Wearing masks is a CDC-recommended approach to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), by reducing the spread of respiratory droplets into the air when a person coughs, sneezes, or talks and by reducing the inhalation of these droplets by the wearer,” according to the analysis.

Read the full report on the CDC website.

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