Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

April 16, 2020

Impact of population mask wearing on Covid-19 post lockdown



  • Using a simplified SIR model to investigate the effects of near-universal mask use on COVID-19, the authors state that mask use had a relatively minor benefit on critical-care and mortality rates when transmissibility was high. However, when the RE approached 1 (as might be expected after aggressive social-distancing measures), the model finds a significant reduction in deaths. 
  • The study suggests that when home-confinement is lifted but other social measures like school closure and social isolation are still in place, wearing masks can maintain the benefits of home-confinement – both in terms of deaths and critical-care bed use. 

Javid & Balaban (Apr 16, 2020). Impact of population mask wearing on Covid-19 post lockdown. Pre-print downloaded Apr 16 from