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The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections

Authors

Seyed M. Karimi, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Sonali S. Salunkhe, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Kelsey B. White, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Sahal A. Alzahrani, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Bert Little, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
William P. McKinney, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Natalie DuPre, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Riten Mitra, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
YuTing Chen, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and WellnessFollow
Martha M Popescu, University of Louisville, Department of AnthropologyFollow
Emily R. Adkins, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Julia A. Barclay, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Emmanuel Ezekekwu, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Caleb.He X. He, University of Louisville, Department of Political ScienceFollow
Dylan M Hurst, University of Louisville, Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesFollow
Aravindreddy Kothagadi, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Shaminul H. Shakib, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Devin N. Swinney, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
David A. Johnson, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow
Rebecca Hollenbach, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and WellnessFollow
Sarah Moyer, University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information SciencesFollow

20.0966

Abstract

Introduction: The transmission of respiratory infectious diseases such as COVID-19 can significantly decrease by mask-wearing. However, accurate information about the extent and proper use of the facial mask is scarce. This study’s main objective was to observe and analyze mask-wearing behavior and the level of COVID-19 protection measures in indoor public areas (PAs) of Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Methods: For conducting the observational survey study, targets were indoor PAs, and zip codes were defined as surveying clusters. The number of selected PAs in each zip code was proportional to the population and the total number of PAs in that zip code. The PA pool in a zip code was divided into four groups, followed by random selection without replacement from each group.

Results: A total of 191 PAs were surveyed: 50 of them were grocery stores, 56 were convenience stores or pharmacies, 39 were wine and liquor stores, and 46 were other stores. At least one unmasked and one incorrectly masked staff were observed in 26% and 40% of the sampled PAs, respectively. Also, in 29% and 35% of the PAs, at least one unmasked and one incorrectly masked visitor were observed, respectively. The rates varied by PA size and county district. Eighty percent of unmasked staff and 75% of the unmasked visitors were male. The rate of unmasked males varied from 50% to 100% across districts. About 66% of unmasked staff among all Jefferson County districts were young adults. More than one-fourth of all the PAs provided hand sanitizer for visitors’ use, and only 2% of the PAs provided masks to their visitors.

Conclusion: Messaging about mask use and correct usage may need to particularly target the 19-44-year-old male population, as these individuals were the most prevalent among those unmasked and masked incorrectly. Additionally, businesses’ protective measures may depend on their resources to operate in such a manner. Hand sanitizer is easier to offer visitors, while staffing to regularly sanitize carts or funds to provide a sufficient number of wipes, gloves, or masks may present further opportunities for government assistance.

Funder

Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness, through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

DOI

10.18297/jri/vol5/iss1/7

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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