A new Vanderbilt University study found that areas in Tennessee that enforced strict mask mandates had fewer hospitalizations of the coronavirus.
While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) predicts an increase in the number of new overall hospitalizations in the next few weeks, state-level forecasts show a high degree of variability from multiple factors. The Vanderbilt researchers found that coronavirus hospitalizations rose in places much more dramatically when the wearing of face masks was not mandated.
According to Axios, in hospitals where more than 75% of patients were mandated to don face coverings, the number of COVID-19-related admissions remained at the same level as July 1. On the other hand, in areas where only 25% of patients followed mask mandates, the number of hospitalizations rose to more than 200% higher than they were in July.
“An important takeaway from this analysis is that areas with mitigation strategies, including but not limited to mask requirements, have seen lower growth in hospitalizations since the summer months,” wrote the researchers. “Hospitals in these areas are in a much better position to serve the entire spectrum of community health needs, not just COVID-19 patents.”
The researchers noted that “letting the virus go unchecked in our communities” would result in not only poorer health outcomes but would also be detrimental to the economy, schools, and healthcare providers.
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