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Systematic observation of mask adherence and distancing (SOMAD): Findings from Philadelphia.
Cohen, Deborah A; Talarowski, Meghan; Awomolo, Olaitan; Han, Bing; Williamson, Stephanie; McKenzie, Thomas L.
  • Cohen DA; Kaiser Permanente Southern California Research and Evaluation, United States.
  • Talarowski M; Studio Ludo, United States.
  • Awomolo O; Studio Ludo, United States.
  • Han B; RAND Corporation, United States.
  • Williamson S; RAND Corporation, United States.
  • McKenzie TL; SDSU, Emeritus, United States.
Prev Med Rep ; 23: 101449, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267887
ABSTRACT
Adherence to guidelines for face coverings and physical distancing are critical strategies to stem the COVID-19 pandemic but are not uniformly followed. Understanding factors associated with adherence to mask-wearing and physical distancing may help guide future control efforts. We conducted an observational study using Systematic Observation of Mask Adherence and Distancing (SOMAD) in August 2020 in parks, playgrounds and commercial streets in each of 10 City Council Districts in Philadelphia, PA. Wearing a mask correctly varied by setting with highest adherence in commercial areas and lowest in playgrounds. Almost 17% wore visible masks that did not cover the nose and/or mouth. There were multiple disparities in correct mask use. Females had higher rates than males (unadjusted relative risk = 1.40, p < .0001) and seniors higher than any other age group (unadjusted chi-square p < .0001). Asians wore masks correctly the most often [adjusted log odds ratio (LOR) = 0.53 compared with non-Hispanic white, p = 0.02]. Correct mask-wearing was higher in areas with a higher population density (adjusted LOR = 0.03 per one thousand/square mile, p = 0.02) and lower in higher poverty areas (adjusted LOR = -0.01, p = .03). Disparities in adherence to mask wearing and physical distancing likely reflect differences in perception of risk by gender, age group, and race/ethnicity. While the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower in outdoor settings, it is unlikely to be zero. The lower rates of mask use by males and minority groups suggest increased efforts are needed to enhance adherence to recommended guidelines.

Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Document Type: Article Type of study: Diagnostic study / Etiology study Language: English Journal: Prev Med Rep Clinical aspect: Etiology Year: 2021

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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Document Type: Article Type of study: Diagnostic study / Etiology study Language: English Journal: Prev Med Rep Clinical aspect: Etiology Year: 2021
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