Study: Masks, physical distancing, eye protection effective at preventing spread of COVID-19

Study: Masks, physical distancing, eye protection effective at preventing COVID-19
Posted at 1:55 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 21:05:09-04

A World Health Organization funded study published this week in the Lancet found that masks, physical distancing and eye protection offer substantial reduction in the spread of COVID-19.

The study cautioned that even when used effectively and in combination, none of the interventions will completely prevent the spread of the virus. But the study’s authors offer some optimism the virus can be significantly slowed sans a vaccine.

Keeping a distance of 1 meter in both healthcare and community settings reduced the risk of infection by 82 percent, according the research authored by a group of six infectious disease experts. Every additional meter of separation more than doubled the relative protection.

“This evidence is important to support community physical distancing guidelines and shows risk reduction is feasible by physical distancing,” the study said. “Moreover, this finding can inform lifting of societal restrictions and safer ways of gathering in the community.”

The study found that infectious droplets can travel up to 8 feet, and can stay in the air for hours.

The use of masks and respirators with those infected with the virus reduced the risk of spreading the infection by 85%. The authors analyzed data that showed that N95 respirators in healthcare settings were up to 96% effective. Other masks were found to be 77% effective.

Dr. Derek Chu from McMaster University, and co-author of the study, found that the most effective homemade masks should be ones that are water-resistant, have multiple layers, and are a good facial fit.

The study also suggests that wearing eye protection resulted in a 78% reduction in infection; infection via the ocular route might occur by aerosol transmission or self-inoculation the study said. This point was one the researchers had less confidence in, and further data is needed to draw a conclusion.

To read the full study, click here.

Coronavirus Testing Sites - Kern County

View Testing Locations Map

State-Provided Sites
  • Must have an appointment
  • Free, but if have insurance they will bill
  • No screening criteria

Kern County Fairgrounds
1142 South P Street, Building 4, Access Gate 27

Rosamond Library
3611 Rosamond Blvd, Rosamond CA 93560

Arvin Public Health
204 S Hill Street, Arvin

Wasco Library
1102 7th Street

County-Provided Sites
  • Must have an appointment
  • Free
  • No screening criteria
  • Operating with existing provider

Oildale - Good Samaritan Hospital
901 Olive Drive, Bakersfield
  • For Registration call (661) 215-7725
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 8 pm, Saturday 8 am - 12 pm

Ridgecrest - Ridgecrest Regional Hospital
1081 N. China Lake Blvd, Ridgecrest
  • For Registration: Text the word "testing" to 833-774-4968 Or Call 866-774-9984
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Delano - Delano Regional Medical Center
1401 Garces Hwy, Delano
  • No Drive-Thru option
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm

Kern River Valley - Kern Valley Hospital
6412 Laurel Ave, Mt Mesa Wheelchair Logo
  • For Registration call (760) 379-2681 ext 267
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Wednesday - Thursday from 7 am - 2 pm.
Tehachapi - Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley
1100 Magellan Dr 93561

Lamont - Kern County Library
8304 Segrue Road, Lamont, CA 93241
  • For registration call 661-869-6018
  • Drive-Thru and Walk-Up<
  • Testing available for ages 5+ only; parents must be present and give consent for children
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 9 am - 2 pm; Tuesday, Thursday 2 pm - 7 pm

Taft - West Side Health Care District
  • For Registration call (661) 765-1935
  • Drive-Thru<
  • TTesting available for all ages; parents must be present and give consent for children
  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm & 3 pm – 7 pm; Saturday 11 am – 3 pm