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Results of Montgomery County Survey on Masks Show Improper and Ineffective Usage

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 24, 2020

More than 2,700 people responded to a recent flash survey on masks and while an overwhelming majority of respondents (91 percent) think wearing a mask is “very important to slow down the spread of COVID-19,” 78 percent of respondents also reported seeing many people wearing masks improperly, such as exposing the nose.

The short survey, conducted via Survey Monkey earlier this month, included five questions and was shared through the County’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, WhatsApp and Nextdoor.

More than half the respondents (61 percent) said they are seeing people wear masks inside buildings and outside where social distancing is not possible and they would like to see more people comply.

“We were pleased to see the response to our survey, while not scientific, indicates people care about keeping themselves and others safe,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing, washing hands and getting tested are the keys to our ability to slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

When asked to describe how people were wearing masks improperly, 66 percent of respondents said they have observed others wearing masks covering only their mouth and chin. Respondents said most mask violations were observed at local businesses (39 percent) and parks, trails and playgrounds (34 percent).

“It is important for everyone to comply with the health order—wearing a mask, and wearing it properly is one of the best tools we have to fighting COVID-19,” said County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles. “A mask should be fitted properly and cover the mouth and nose in order to protect others. Just covering one’s mouth doesn’t get the job done.”

For more information about face coverings, visit the County’s COVID-19 Information Portal.

For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD.

Put the “count” in Montgomery County! Be sure to complete the Census online, by phone, or by ail. It’s safe, confidential, easy, and important. #2020Census #EveryoneCountsMCMD

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Release ID: 20-398
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 301-529-7669