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Analysis by Tulsa-Based Health Information Exchange Finds Mask Mandates Working

cloth_masks_covid.jpg
Roland Leach
/
U.S. Air Force

An analysis by a Tulsa-based health information exchange found mask requirements are working to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. David Kendrick, the CEO of MyHealth Access Network, said they looked at seven-day averages of positive test rates in places with mask requirements versus the rest of the state and compared them at a week, two weeks and three weeks.

"So, in the first seven days, the positivity rate dropped by 0.47%. By the 14-day window, it had dropped, it was at negative 7.57%, and by 21 days, it had come up just a bit but was still lower at 5.73%," Kendrick said.

Kendrick said he is not convinced there are any health risks from wearing a mask, as a group suing the City of Tulsa over its ordinance claims.

"In fact, the people who would be most likely to complain about shortness of breath or inability to get oxygen or the other things I hear anti-masking campaigns complain about, those are the very patients most at risk," Kendrick said. "Because they have asthma, they have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, because they have conditions that make it uncomfortable to breathe in some cases, they are most likely to have a bad outcome from this virus."

MyHealth gets real-time information from several health care systems. Kendrick estimated it has data from 50% to 70% of all tests run in the state, so the analysis could not compare case numbers.

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