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Why do we need more masks and tests for COVID?

I wondered, if I could say only one thing to someone who will not wear a mask, what would it be?

My answer: "Every person who gets COVID-19 is contagious for two days before they have their first symptom, and does not know they are infected, and remains contagious for up to 10 more days. Plus, maybe half of all the people who get COVID-19 never develop symptoms but are nevertheless as contagious as those who have symptoms, for as long. So, wearing a mask protects other people you are close to when you think you do not have it because you do not have symptoms."

If I could say two things, I would add: "Why test? Testing is a tool to stop transmission, if, for each person testing positive for COVID, we immediately:

  • Tell them they have it and get them to self-isolate (and to wear a mask) so they do not infect more people (who would infect more people)
  • Find out who they have been with in close contact with
  • Tell the contacts they may be infected, get them to self-quarantine and wear a mask, so they do not transmit. (This is what contact tracers do.)

Helen Sandalls

New London



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