Mask Adherence to Mask Mandate: College Campus Versus the Surrounding Community

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Adherence to masking recommendations and requirements continues to have a wide variety of impacts in terms of viral spread during the ongoing pandemic. As governments, schools, and private sector businesses formulate decisions around mask requirements, it is important to observe real-life adherence to policies and discern subsequent implications. The CDC MASCUP! observational study tracked mask-wearing habits of students on higher-education campuses across the country to collect stratified data about mask typologies, correct mask usage, and differences in behaviors at locations on a college campus and in the surrounding community. Our findings from a single institution include a significant adherence difference between on-campus (86%) and off-campus sites (72%) across the course of this study as well as a notable change in adherence at the on-campus sites with the expiration of a county-wide governmental mandate, despite continuance of a university-wide mandate. This study, completed on and around the campus of East Tennessee State University in Washington County TN, was able to pivotally extract information regarding increased adherence on campus versus the surrounding community. Changes were also seen when mask mandates were implemented and when they expired.




Condra, A., Coston, T., Jain, M., Manning, S., Pettyjohn, S., & Wahlquist, A. E. (2023). Mask Adherence to Mask Mandate: College Campus Versus the Surrounding Community. Journal of Community Health, 48(3), 496–500.

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