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Gov. Beshear doubles down on mask mandate; research suggests it helps slow spread

Will the mask mandate work? Research says it can if most of the population participates.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Governor Andy Beshear doubled down on his call for Kentuckians to wear masks in public during a Monday afternoon press conference. Dr. Seteven Stack said if 80% of the state wore masks for the next two to three weeks, we could see things "turn around for the better."

Studies surrounding masks and their impact on the virus are continually changing but research and experts agree, mask mandates can help if executed properly. 

Researchers in Indiana found about 43% of all Indiana residents infected with COVID-19 showed no symptoms. The study was based off several thousand people who were randomly selected in early June. 

This tells us masks are important even when you don't feel sick, because you could be spreading it without knowing it. 

Regenstrief Institute expert Shaun Grannis said, "historically we kind of thought of masks as protecting ourselves from what is coming at us but in this case-- what we want to do is reduce the spread from people who are infected to others and so the mask serves as a physical barrier."

Another study looked at the infection rate in 15 states before and after a mask mandate was put in place. Researchers found the new daily case growth rate decreased within weeks of the mandate going into effect. Meaning for those states the mask mandate worked. 

But what about here in our state?

Experts say seeing results could be complicated because inevitably not everyone will wear masks when they're supposed to. But if Kentucky does see results, it would be in about two weeks. 

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►Contact reporter Shay McAlister at smcalister@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@WHAS11Shay) and Facebook.