Effectiveness of face coverings in mitigating the covid-19 pandemic in the United States

Olukayode James Ayodeji, Seshadri Ramkumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. Many prevalent measures have been taken to prevent its spread and protect the public. However, the use of face coverings as an effective preventive measure remains contentious. The goal of the current study is to evaluate the effectiveness of face coverings as a protective measure. We examined the effectiveness of face coverings between 1 April and 31 December 2020. This was accomplished by analyzing trends of daily new COVID-19 cases, cumulative confirmed cases, and cases per 100,000 people in different U.S. states, including the District of Columbia. The results indicated a sharp change in trends after face covering mandates. For the 32 states with face covering mandates, 63% and 66% exhibited a downward trend in confirmed cases within 21 and 28 days of implementation, respectively. We estimated that face covering mandates in the 32 states prevented approximately 78,571 and 109,703 cases within 21-and 28-day periods post face covering mandate, respectively. A statistically significant (p = 0.001) negative correlation (−0.54) was observed between the rate of cases and days since the adoption of a face covering mandate. We concluded that the use of face coverings can provide necessary protection if they are properly used.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3666
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Face covering
  • Pandemic
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • State-wide mandate


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