How to Keep Safe in Mass Gatherings and Large Community Events
Large events and mass gatherings are possible contributing factors to spreads of COVID-19. Infected attendees can introduce the virus to new communities by being in close proximity to others during mass gatherings. This problem is exacerbated by asymptomatic individuals, who might feel that they’re completely healthy, being close to others. This can make attendees of large conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and protests vulnerable to exposure.
However, usage of face masks can significantly reduce the risk of virus transmission, as documented in various studies. One recent study published in The Lancet looked at 172 other different studies on coronavirus transmission across 16 countries, and concluded that wearing a face mask along with maintaining physical distance dramatically reduced the risk of COVID-19 spread. Scientists showed that the risk of transmitting the novel coronavirus plummeted from 17.4% down to just 3.1% when face masks are used by attendees.
Appearing on CNN, Oxford University's Trish Greenhalgh stated that “Wearing a mask or face covering appears to reduce your risk by up to 85%!"
It’s clear that the risk of individual COVID-19 transmission in both indoor and outdoor public venues can be significantly reduced by the usage of face coverings. As states and countries reopen, it’s important for individuals to make a habit of wearing face masks when attending mass gathering events, to protect themselves and others around them from virus infection. Such measures may also help prevent a second wave of possibly deadlier coronavirus.