MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The push to wear masks has been an ongoing message for the Memphis area, but Tuesday afternoon county Mayor Lee Harris laid out why that message is so important in stopping coronavirus.
During the COVID Task Force briefing he laid out numbers to show just who was wearing masks before the health directive to do so kicked in.
A study conducted June 15-21 showed 51% of the local population was observed using a mask. The study was conducted by U of M students who monitored police cameras all over the city to see how many people were wearing facial coverings.
“Clearly during this period we have a whole lot more work to do,” Harris observed.
The numbers also show a breakdown of mask wearing by age group and ethnicity, with those 55 and older having the highest mask use and those under 18, the lowest.
“I say to young people: Come on,” Harris said. “We need ya’ll to use masks and to help us by doing this by doing this very, very straightforward thing that will help us reduce the spread.”
African-Americans were the group wearing masks the most, with the Hispanic/Latinx community wearing them the least.
Harris said the impact shows communities wearing the most masks had the lowest COVID-19 cases. The highest concentrations of cases were found within those ZIP codes where people were in low mask compliance.