Masking the UK’s diverging infection rates

Infection rates are climbing steadily in England and surging in Wales. They’re pretty much flat in Scotland and Northern Ireland:

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has been monitoring behaviour changes in terms of facemask wearing and social mixing.

Notably, for the week-ending 29 September 2021, with rates falling slightly or flat across the UK, they noted in their data:

Self-reported facemask wearing for those who have at least one non-home contact appears to have reduced below 70% in England, though this overall figure masks differences by age. Reported face-covering wearing has stabilised in the over 60s but continues to fall in younger age groups. The use of face-coverings has remained high in both Wales and Scotland (> 85% of participants), where use in certain social settings has remained mandatory.

https://cmmid.github.io/topics/covid19/reports/comix/Comix%20Weekly%20Report%2079.pdf

A week later infection levels begin to climb in England

Then for week-ending 6th October, they report:

There has been a sharp decline in reported use of facemasks in Wales this week, but this is likely due to a smaller sample size. We will continue to monitor this in the following weeks.

https://cmmid.github.io/topics/covid19/reports/comix/Comix%20Weekly%20Report%2081.pdf

And for week-ending 13th October, the latest, they report:

The decline in face mask usage in Wales noted last week persists at approximately 75%. Face mask usage in England amongst those 18 to 29 years old who have reported contacts outside of the household continues to decrease.

https://cmmid.github.io/topics/covid19/reports/comix/Comix%20Weekly%20Report%2081.pdf

On October 16th, the infection rate in Wales surges and continues to climb in England.

Mask-wearing trends in Scotland and northern Ireland are not mentioned so stable. Rates flatten and appear to stabilise.

Health Warning: Other factors may apply.

For example, latitude? Average minimum temperature? Wind chill? Last winter, walking the dog on a chilly day, I put mine on, though a hundred yards from the nearest human and in a wind that would disperse your aerosols instantly. Joking!

Source: https://cmmid.github.io/topics/covid19/comix-reports.html

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One thought on “Masking the UK’s diverging infection rates

  1. Backs up what my wife and I noted late last month during a five day break in Shropshire. Mask wearing indoors was about 80% in supermarkets and large shops, 100% in our hotel. However outdoors in congested areas such as market stalls only a small number wore masks even though it was congested. We avoid those areas completely.

    Liked by 1 person

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