More research is emerging that suggests the answer is no, masks have not helped reduce spread of infection.
5/26/21 – Town hall – Masks Didn’t Slow Covid Spread: New Study – Study cited in the next paragraph calculates “mask mandates and use not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among US states.” In other words study finds there is no correlation between the level of mask use and infection rates. Their research does not support the idea that higher use of masks results in lower transmission rates.
5/18/21 – medRxiv – Mask mandate and use efficacy in state-level Covid-19 containment – Using proper statistical methodologies, study finds there is no difference in infection rates between states that mandated masks and states that did not require masks.
Infection rates are “comparable” for the states with early adoption of mas requirement and states with late adoption.
The research paper uses technical language, which is exactly what you would expect, so it is difficult to read. I will still quote the abstract, which says:(more…)