A recent analysis of patients in Tenessee hospitals shows a correlation between areas in the state where masks are not mandated and an increase in COVID-19 patients.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University Medical Center analyzed hospital patient data from across the state, and they found that patients from areas without mask mandates had an average of 200% increase in COVID-19 cases than areas with mask mandates for the same time period.

Researchers were quick to point out that, though correlated, the increase in numbers might not be caused by the mask mandate, as other mitigating factors are present.

“Again, we can’t say for sure that masking is the reason this is happening...  but we do see a clear relationship between areas where masks are required and hospitalizations for the coronavirus,” - John Graves, PhD, associate professor of Health Policy 

In contrast to the 200% increase in areas without a mask mandate, areas with a mask mandate either maintained their current infection level or actually saw a decrease in the number of COVID-19 patients.

You can read more about the analysis at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center website.