On Victorias worst day of the pandemic with more than 500 new cases, we note a new study has been published in the BMJ thorax scientific journal. It found wearing a mask when speaking, sneezing or coughing significantly reduced droplet spread into the air. They used an LED light and high speed camera to capture droplets with people wearing no mask, cloth and surgical masks. It was performed a University of NSW by pHD candidate P. Bahl and supervised by Prof MacIntyre, (prof of global biosecurity). The picture below is from their original paper and clearly demonstrates a reduction in droplets when using any covering. (https://thorax.bmj.com/content/early/2020/07/24/thoraxjnl-2020-215748.full) There is a video on that site- The sneezing video is particularly spectacular! Congratulations to the team at UNSW for an elegant, educational paper.
We encourage all Victorians to wear a mask – where possible at any time out in the community , even in Geelong and non lockdown zones to minimise the spread of COVID 19.