BYU review of 115 studies shows masks effective in slowing COVID-19

Jul 20, 2020, 10:30 AM | Updated: Jul 21, 2020, 9:39 am
Utah County Commission meeting...
File photo: Getty Images.

PROVO, Utah — Four faculty members from BYU have reviewed dozens of studies on the use of face masks to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Their conclusion? Masks work.


byu masks study

Respiratory droplets ejected into the air while speaking without and with a mask. The images show droplets illuminated with lasers. Photo by Modified from Anfinrud and others 2020: Visualizing Speech-Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering.

Brigham Young University’s Benjamin Abbott and three others reviewed 115 published studies and articles on the use of face masks, and concluded that “masks could be one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools to stop COVID-19 and accelerate economic recovery.”

The BYU faculty members looked at the potential health effects of wearing masks and determined that only a few people have conditions that would make wearing masks a bad idea, with almost no evidence to support a lack of oxygen or a buildup of carbon dioxide.

The study is available on the BYU website.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:


    • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.


    • Don’t touch your face.


    • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)


    • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)


  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

Today’s Top Stories


FILE: Joggers enjoy the sunshine while exercising in Federal Heights area of Salt Lake City. Photo ...
Adam Small

Planning on fasting? BYU study shows a workout can jump start success

The BYU study found that a workout before fasting will get your body into the ketosis phase more quickly.
9 days ago
Brigham Young University-Idaho released its 2021 fall semester enrollment numbers on Friday.
Photo ...
Mark Jones

BYU-Idaho releases fall enrollment numbers

BYU-Idaho officials announce steady enrollment for both online and on-campus for the 2021 fall semester.
16 days ago
Idaho State linebacker Jared Gibson (51) knocks BYU wide receiver Neil Pau'u, right, out of bounds ...
The Associated Press

BYU crushes Idaho State 59-14 for 3rd straight win

Jaren Hall leads BYU to a 59-14 win over Idaho State Saturday afternoon.
29 days ago
BYU running back Tyler Allgeier carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football ...
The Associated Press

BYU beats Washington State in 1st game since Rolovich fired

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Tyler Allgeier ran for 191 yards and two touchdowns and BYU beat Washington State 21-19 on Saturday in Washington State’s first game since head coach Nick Rolovich was fired for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Rolovich and four assistants were fired Monday for not complying with the governor’s mandate that […]
1 month ago
football coach...
Curt Gresseth

Religious exemption or not, Washington State coach loses job

A religious exemption won't keep you from being terminated from your job because you refuse to get vaccinated, said a Utah defense attorney.
2 months ago
BYU Cougars no longer ranked...
Karilyn Frazier

BYU Cougars no longer ranked among top college football teams

The BYU Cougars are no longer ranked among the top college football teams in the nation.
2 months ago
BYU review of 115 studies shows masks effective in slowing COVID-19