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The future of masks in public health

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 3:35 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - An accessory that has turned into a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic may have a place in society going forward.

During the pandemic, facial coverings or masks were required in most of the country, although they are no longer required in many places anymore. Health officials say that masks may still be used, especially if a person goes out in public and isn’t feeling well.

“If you are going to be coming to work or going out in public despite having you know symptoms associated with a respiratory infection, that’s where wearing a mask is a good idea just to prevent spreading those germs to other people,” Dr. Ajay Sethi, Associate Professor at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, said.

Rates of respiratory illnesses were significantly lower in 2020 than they were pre-pandemic, which Dr. Sethi says is evidence that masking and physical distancing had an effect in reducing those illnesses.

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