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One of the most politicised scientific issues of 2020 was the question about whether face-masks stop the spread of COVID-19. I trust we can agree that this is notable without requiring specific examples.

In particular:

When worn by members of the public who are healthy, are surgical masks effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19?

Note that this question is about effectiveness (not efficacy), so answerers and voters are invited to weight evidence about the spread of COVID-19 in real-life conditions above evidence from lab experiments, and in turn, evidence from lab-experiments above theoretical models.

This question is one of a number of similar questions on Skeptics.SE. For a master list, see here

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    Does this answer your question? Does a surgical mask help prevent catching COVID-19? – Robert Columbia Jan 1 at 16:26
  • Would it be better to pull this all into a single "Does [mask type] help prevent the spread of COVID-19 [to healthy / from infected] members of the public?" given how well trod this ground is? – Schwern Jan 2 at 21:08
  • @Schwern: I don't understand your request (it looks like you are asking for one question AND a set of questions). We had a major (and a few minor) questions before, and it was a dog's breakfast. We had a major bounty added because the answers were out of date. – Oddthinking Jan 3 at 11:40

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