Study finds mask mandates, dining out influence virus spread

NEW YORK (AP) — A new national study adds strong evidence that mask mandates can slow the spread of the coronavirus, and that allowing dining at restaurants can increase cases and deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the study Friday.

It looked at counties placed under state-issued mask mandates and at counties that allowed restaurant dining — both indoors and at tables outside.

The agency’s director says it shows decreases in cases and deaths when people wear masks.

And it found increases in cases and deaths when in-person restaurant dining is allowed.

The study was released just as some states are rescinding mask mandates and restaurant limits.