Community masking is critical to stop the spread of COVID-19, and the science backs it up. Along with social distancing and hand washing, wearing a mask is one of the best prevention tools we have until there are viable vaccines or treatments.
That’s why we’re joining #WorldMaskWeek, a global movement to inspire more people to wear face coverings to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
We now know that any of us could be carrying and spreading the virus, even if we’re not experiencing symptoms. Wearing a mask prevents spreading and shows you care for each other — your mask protects me and my mask protects you.
Even though some countries are lifting lockdowns and restrictions, the COVID-19 pandemic is not over; in fact, it’s spreading in far too many places around the world. However, if we pull together in solidarity – if we consistently and correctly wear a mask in public – we can slow the spread and save lives.
A review published in The Lancet and funded by the World Health Organization, looked at data from 172 studies from 16 countries and six continents and found that face mask use could result in a large reduction in the risk of infection.
Based on this growing evidence on how to slow the spread of COVID-19, the global public health community agrees: wearing a mask or face covering when in public helps protect communities.
That’s why we’ve joined the Pandemic Action Network in support of World Mask Week ( 7-14 August). This movement demands each of us do what we can to slow the spread of the virus and to save lives in our neighbourhoods, workplaces, schools, and communities. We want to applaud everyone who has been wearing a mask and invite more people to join the movement.
We must ensure that everyone knows and understands the benefits of wearing a mask and how only together as governments, leaders, and individuals can we rise up to meet the challenge and overcome this pandemic. World Mask Week is the time to do this.