Mask use still recommended, emphasized by doctors

University Health CMO says people may now consider wearing double masks

Debating wearing a mask? A local doctor says you should consider the risks
Debating wearing a mask? A local doctor says you should consider the risks

SAN ANTONIO – The lifting of the mask mandate in Texas was reason for some people to celebrate, but others to cringe, particularly those on the front lines of the COVID-19 patient care.

Their hesitancy to join in the revelry of personal freedom stems from hard facts released in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that was published March 5.

The report shows the incremental increases of COVID-19 cases as well as deaths resulting from the reopening of restaurants for inside dining, as well as the decreases experienced when the mask mandates were implemented March through December of 2020.

Dr. Bryan Alsip, Chief Medical Officer for University Health, reiterates that mask use is still a good idea.

“The hope is that many people will continue to wear masks because the mandate doesn’t prohibit them. But certainly, some individuals will choose not to, and that will put other people potentially at risk,” Alsip said.

How you wear a mask and where you go indoors, in particular, may actually re-emphasize the need for protection. Alsip said if you weren’t wearing a double mask or two layers before, this might be a good time to begin considering that.

“We’ve heard from any number of people who have decided they’re not going to do certain activities now because they can’t be as sure that other individuals will be wearing masks, Alsip said.

The MMWR Report provides data that appears to show that mask mandates were associated with statistically significant decreases in county level daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates within only 20 days of implantation. At the same time, it shows dining in restaurants was associated with increases in the same.

You can view the MMWR report below:

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About the Author:

Ursula Pari has been a staple of television news in Texas at KSAT 12 News for more than 22 years and a veteran of broadcast journalism for more than 30 years.