CDC: Mask mandates associated with decreased COVID-19 hospitalizations

COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped significantly in states with mask mandates in the weeks after implementing the statewide order, according to the CDC's Feb. 5 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers evaluated the weekly growth rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations between March 22 and Oct. 17, 2020, at 10 sites that were in states with mask mandates. In the first two weeks after the mask mandates took effect, weekly hospitalization growth rates fell by 2.9 percentage points among people aged 40-64, compared to growth rates in the four weeks before the mask mandate. 

After more than three weeks, the hospitalization growth rates in states with mask mandates dropped by 5.5 percentage points among those aged 18-64. 

The decline in hospitalizations may have also contributed to a significant decrease in  healthcare costs associated with COVID-19, according to the report. 

"CDC has determined that COVID-19-related hospital costs per adult hospitalization varied from $8,400 in a general ward to [more than] $50,000 in an intensive care unit with a ventilator," researchers said. "Because COVID-19 can lead to prolonged illness and require long-term treatment, the expected savings associated with the decline in hospitalization rates could be much higher than these reduced hospital costs associated with COVID-19."

To view the full findings, click here.


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