Scientists and doctors agree that masks work but they may not be enough to stop the spread
Scientists and doctors around the country and throughout the world have been urging people to wear masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
“I would urge the leaders, the local, political and other leaders in states and cities, and towns to be as forceful as possible in getting your citizenry to wear masks,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
Parts of Charlotte County are adopting that message. Punta Gorda has enacted a mask mandate. Now, cloth masks are being handed out for free at all Charlotte County aquatic facilities.
“The most powerful weapon we have – or weapons – are basically face coverings,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the CDC.
A new study from Florida Atlantic University supports this argument. The FAU study found that stitched cloth masks stop droplets from coughs and sneezes at two and a half inches. The study also suggests that without any face covering, droplets can spread as far as 12 feet.
Scientists have deemed them the most effective covering you can wear. But even with that evidence, cities like Punta Gorda may have a difficult time trying to enforce their mandate.
“They were the outlier in the state of Florida this week, but they’re growing now,” said Dr. David Rubin, Director of PolicyLab at the children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. ”
“The community is really trying to come together. But when there are waves of transmission pulsing through as travelers move through the area, it becomes an impossible task and it eventually catches up to you.”
Dr. Rubin says what happens around a community is just as important as what’s happening inside of a community. So, to him, the county-by-county approach to mask mandates won’t work and isn’t sustainable.
“There really needs to be some level of standardization in this response of Florida hopes to reverse the tide,” he said.