Health experts have stressed the importance of wearing a mask to limit the possibility of infecting others with COVID-19, but a range of new research now suggests they also protect the wearer, according to a report Monday.
With many states implementing policies to make face coverings mandatory in both indoor and outdoor spaces, one doctor says that masks also reduce the risk of infection to the wearer by 65 percent.
“We’ve learned more due to research and additional scientific evidence and now we know [that] not only wearing a mask prevents the person wearing the mask to transmit to others, but wearing the mask protects the person who’s wearing it,” said Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.
“So the wearer of the mask, even the standard rectangular surgical masks … will decrease the risk of infection by the person wearing the mask by about 65 percent.”
He added that N95 masks do an even better job at protecting people from the virus, but they are in short supply and are needed for healthcare professionals.