Are masks really effective at preventing the spread of disease?

July 2, 2020 Providence News Team


In this article:

  • A video shows the dramatic effects of wearing a mask.

  • Providence physician Rich Davis explains why masks are a good idea to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases caused by viruses and bacteria in droplets.

A demonstration by the Microbiology Lab at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital shows how wearing a mask can protect you (and others) in close proximity and even at a safe 6-foot distance from viruses and other pathogens.

Viruses like COVID-19 can be transmitted when droplets are produced through common behaviors, such as coughing, talking, singing or sneezing. Masks are effective at blocking most of these droplets, even when up close.

Watch the demonstration here that answers the common questions:

  • How effective is masking?
  • Does physical distance matter?

When a local journalist repeated the demonstration alongside Sacred Heart's microbiology director, Dr. Rich Davis, they documented the results as he coughed, sneezed, sang and talked with and without a mask. They also looked at social distancing and found it to be effective at keeping germs contained. 

Watch more here:


Even though vaccination rates are rising, variants may still pose a threat. This makes mask-wearing in certain situations a smart practice for the foreseeable future.


Find a doctor

If you’re having symptoms of COVID-19, Providence Express Care Virtual connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow-up as needed. If you need to see a doctor in person, you can use our provider directory to find the right Providence physician for you. 

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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.


About the Author

The Providence News Team brings you the updates to keep you informed about what's happening across the organizational ecosystem. From partnerships to new doctor announcements, we are committed to keeping you informed.

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