For months now, the debate has raged. "Should I wear a facemask or not?" Well, it looks like we may finally have an answer according to a new study conducted by Mass General Brigham in Boston.

From a news story reported on by WGGB/WSHM in Springfield and Western Mass News, Mass General Brigham researchers found when universal masking was mandated, infection rates dropped.

Many of us remember that at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were some mixed messages pertaining to whether to wear a mask or not.

Researchers at Mass General Brigham looked back at that time, within their own hospital system, when really only staff were required to wear a mask.They then compared it to when the state made masks mandatory for everyone and found dramatic results on infection rates.

Researchers found that COVID-19 infection rates fell significantly from mid-March thru the end of April when BOTH hospital staff and patients wore masks.

Researchers hope that though their findings may seem logical to many people now, it will send a signal to all: wearing a mask, in any setting, saves lives.

The study found that N-95 and surgical masks are more effective than bandannas and scarves. However, face coverings, including the homemade kind, do a good job and are far better than not wearing a mask at all.

For much more on this story, including similar findings from Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, visit the website for Western Mass News here. We thank them for the update.