A NEW STUDY FROM COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY CONFIRMS THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MASKS AND HAND-WASHING IN THE BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19. THE STUDY LOOKED AT MORE THAN 500 ESSENTIAL WORKERS AT CSU AND THEIR MASK-WEARING AND HAND-WASHING BEFORE VACCINES WERE AVAILABLE. IT FOUND THOSE ACTIONS HELPED KEEP ESSENTIAL WORKERS SAFE.
WE'RE TALKING WITH THE STUDY'S LEADER... DR. SUE VANDEWOUDE... A PROFESSOR OF MICROBIOLOGY... IMMUNOLOGY... AND PATHOLOGY AT CSU.
-- The study focused on 508 essential workers at CSUbetween July 13 and Sept. 2, 2020.
--The participants completed a survey and submitted blood and nasal swabs to assess active SARS-CoV-2 infection.
-- Most reported strict adherence to guidelines like mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing, both on and off campus, and those behaviors correlated with extremely low exposure rates; of those surveyed, none tested positive for the virus, and only two participants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
-- Those surveyed said they were more concerned about exposing others in their workplaces than contracting COVID-19 themselves, and those who were most concerned were more likely to wear a mask and wash their hands, the researchers found.
--Fast forward to now, with vaccines widely available and some workplaces and universities requiring students and staff to be vaccinated. Results of the study indicate that for faculty and staff who remain unvaccinated, particularly as the Delta variant of the virus continues to spread, protective behaviors like mask-wearing should still be followed on and off campus, the researchers said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recently amended its masking guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals.