Green authors editorial on masking protocols in New England Journal of Medicine

In a new editorial in the New England Journal of MedicineTiffany Green, PhD, assistant professor in the Division of Reproductive and Population Health, responds to a study examining the effects of universal masking policies on rates of COVID-19 infection in schools.

The study “Lifting Universal Masking in Schools — Covid-19 Incidence among Students and Staff” compares COVID infections in Massachusetts school districts that retained universal masking through June 2022 to those that lifted masking requirements earlier in the year. Green’s response “Universal Masking Policies in Schools and Mitigating the Inequitable Costs of Covid-19”, co-authored by Julia Raifman, ScD, of the Boston University School of Public Health, emphasizes the value of the study’s findings in developing public health policy in the future:

“These findings have implications for federal and state decision making regarding universal masking policies. First, most of the benefits of universal masking accrued before county Covid-19 levels reached high CDC Covid-19 Community Levels, a metric that has been used for policy decisions. Second, school districts that ended masking policies had excess cases despite being more likely to have newer buildings and ventilation systems than school districts that sustained universal masking policies. These observations highlight the importance of universal masking as a layer of protection early in Covid-19 surges.”

Read the whole editorial here!