Research shows more Memphians wearing masks correctly

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — People in Memphis are getting better at wearing their masks, according to new data researchers shared with City Council on Tuesday.

Since June, masks have been required in Memphis, and research suggests the mandate is working.

University of Memphis researchers have been studying mask usage and gave their findings to the city council during a virtual executive committee meeting.

They studied about 4,000 people and learned that before the policy, about half of the people were wearing masks. Sixty-one percent of people 41 years and older wore their mask correctly.

The lowest mask usage was among the Hispanic and Latino communities, at 34 percent.

Now, after the policy was put into place, 92 percent are wearing masks and a majority are wearing them correctly.

A representative of the study told the council Tuesday that we aren’t in the clear. More work still needs to be done, like more internet ads and commercials explaining how to wear a mask correctly over the nose and mouth.

Other recommendations included focusing on groups with low compliance rates such as children and young adults. That may include Instagram videos, Tik Tok videos and YouTube ads.

Researchers would like to continue their research, studying mask usage at smaller retailer stores like gas stations.

The mayors of Tipton and Fayette counties also issued mask mandates this week, and Mississippi issued a statewide mask mandate Tuesday.

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