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20/20 hindsight review of COVID-19: To mask or not to mask? With a political twist

Burkhart, Jeanette

The present study investigated mask mandates during the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the factors driving these orders. State level data was collected for all 50 states from the date of the first adoption by New Jersey on April 8, 2020 to Wyoming on December 8, 2020. Typical policy diffusion studies examine state adoption of policy on an annual basis, but rapid spread saw different states adopting mask mandates at different intervals. Therefore, this study uses a discrete time logit model, data coded on a bi-weekly basis as policy changed due to rapid COVID-19 infection rates. Political party and infection rates were found to have statistical significance on mask mandates, while age of population was not a significant indicator.