3 Tools to Combat COVID Could Limit Need for Masks, Brown University Doctor Says

"We have all the tools we need to end this pandemic," Jha said

Brown University

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University's Public School of Health, laid out four tools to tame the coronavirus pandemic.

Jha broke it down in a thread on Twitter this weekend, noting that, "We have all the tools we need to end this pandemic."

The four tools Jha outlined are vaccines, rapid tests, improving indoor air and masks, and he said that using the first three correctly would mean that the last wouldn't need to be used much.

"If we deploy first 3 aggressively and smartly, we need only use 4th sparingly," Jha wrote.

In a community with high vaccination rates and ubiquitous testing, infection rates would be low, Jha said.

"In that context, would you go to an indoor concert unmasked if everyone was vaccinated, everyone had (a) negative antigen test prior to (the) concert and (the) concert hall had great ventilation/filtration? I would," Jha wrote.

The U.S. is contending with a surge in COVID cases, especially in places where fewer people are vaccinated.

Experts say Massachusetts’ relatively high vaccination rate should help.

In Massachusetts, which has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the country, health officials on Friday reported another 1,703 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 10 new deaths.

Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, are far lower than they were in spring, and while all of the major ones have risen from their lowest points, some have dipped in recent weeks.

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