Using publicly available data, we quantify the impact of mask adherence and mask mandates on COVID-19 outcomes. We show that mask mandates are associated with a statistically significant decrease in daily new cases (−3.24 per 100K), deaths (−0.19 per 100K), and the proportion of hospital admissions (−2.47%) due to COVID-19 between February 1 and September 27, 2020. These effects are large, corresponding to 13% of the highest recorded number of cases, 20% of deaths, and 7% of admission proportion. We also find that mask mandates are linked to a 23.4 percentage point increase in mask adherence in four diverse states, and that mask adherence is associated with improved COVID-19 outcomes. Lastly, using a large novel survey in 68 countries, we find that community mask adherence and attitudes towards masks are associated with a reduction in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Our results have relevant policy implications, indicating the need to maintain and encourage mask-wearing.
Recommended citation: Adjodah, D., Dinakar, K., Chinazzi, M., Fraiberger, S.P., Pentland, A., Bates, S., Staller, K., Vespignani, A., & Bhatt, D.L. (2021). "Association between COVID-19 Outcomes and Mask Mandates, Adherence, and Attitudes". PLOS ONE, 16(6), e0252315.