COVID-19 – Masks revisited…

Welcome to the Friday COVID-19, despite the ease of restrictions in the community, the restrictions at the Abel Tasman Village still apply.

On Saturday 13 June, additional restrictions have lifted which apply to household visits and outside gatherings, funerals, as well as businesses – including the reopening of food courts, fitness centres, community centres, massage parlours and more. For the latest updates:
Read this…

In this edition you will find new PPE guidance and information on the latest cloth face mask evidence check from the NSW government website.

Efficacy of cloth face masks for the prevention of COVID-19 transmission Rapid review questions Do cloth face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19? In brief:

  • Face masks are used to protect wearers from infection and to prevent the spread from people with COVID-19, particularly those who are pre-symptomatic.
  • The World Health Organisation on 5 June 2020 updated its guidance advising that to prevent COVID-19 transmission effectively in areas of community transmission, governments should encourage the public to wear masks
  • A systematic review in healthcare and non-healthcare settings showed that face mask use could result in a large reduction in risk of infection, with stronger associations with N95 or similar respirators compared with disposable surgical masks or similar.
  • A pre peer review rapid systematic review of three randomised controlled trials showed that wearing a face mask may slightly reduce the odds of developing respiratory symptoms by 6%.
  • In the same review, the protective effect was very small if only one person, the infected person or well person wore the mask, however this was based on very low-quality evidence.
  • A review reflecting on influenza epidemics found some efficacy of masks if worn by those with respiratory systems but not if worn by asymptomatic individuals.
  • There are concerns masks are associated with over-estimation of the extent of protection afforded and non-compliance with other effective measures, such as hand washing, social distancing, and home isolation.
  • Evidence from health care settings suggest cloth masks can be a source of infection.
  • Recommendations on face mask use in community settings varies by country, some experts support their use based on the precautionary principle

Kind regards,

Sophia Markwell