In a recent report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released findings on mask mandates and on-premise dining at restaurants. Notably, the research found that—within 20 days of implementation—mask mandates were associated with a decrease in daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates.
In addition, the findings indicate that allowing on-premises restaurant dining was associated with an increase in daily COVID-19 case growth rates 41–100 days after mask mandate implementation and an increase in daily death growth rates 61–100 days after mask mandate implementation.
The report analyzed county-level data on state-issued mask mandates and restaurant closures obtained from executive and administrative orders identified on state government websites. The analysis suggests there were research limitations. In particular, the models did not control for other policies that might affect case and death rates, compliance with and enforcement of these studied policies or differences between indoor and outdoor dining.
Ongoing CDC Guidance
Because the virus is transmitted predominantly by inhaling respiratory droplets from infected persons, universal mask use can help reduce transmission, according to the CDC. The CDC continues to advocate for mask mandates, as they can help limit community transmission of COVID-19. The CDC believes findings on mask mandates can be used to inform public policies to reduce community spread of COVID-19.
According to the CDC, efforts to limit potential exposure to COVID-19, such as mask use and avoiding on-premises dining, are increasingly important given the emergence of highly transmissible COVID-19 variants in the United States.
The CDC continues to study the efficacy of masks and other COVID-19 mitigation measures and will issue reports on an ongoing basis. HR&P will keep you updated on any noteworthy updates.