KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An unreleased study by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services showed that Missouri jurisdictions with mask mandates had lower death and case rates of COVID-19 than jurisdictions without requirements from April to October 2021.
The study was requested by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's office in early November.
"I think we can say with great confidence reviewing the public health literature and then looking at the results in your study that communities where masks were required had a lower positivity rate per 100,000 and experienced lower death rates," Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) Director Donald Kauerauf said in an email.
Kaureauf added that there are "lots" of variables to consider when assessing the impact of wearing a mask.
The areas with mask mandates observed in the study included St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Kansas City and Jackson County.
The study only focused on the time before and during the delta wave of COVID-19, because there were additional Missouri jurisdictions with previous mask mandates that had ended, according to MDHSS Assistant Bureau Chief Nathan Koffarnus.
Last month, the Cole County Circuit Court ruled that the MDHSS cannot create and enforce health orders, including mask mandates.
Following the ruling, health agencies and school boards across Missouri were issued letters by Attorney General Eric Schmitt to halt all health orders, including mask mandates and quarantine orders.