Auburn, Ala. (EETV) - Auburn University, in their collaborative effort with the Alabama Department of Public Health and the CDC, is studying mask use on and around campus. Data from this study will give the CDC and other health governing bodies important information to analyze COVID-19 trends with and to make decisions on guidelines.

In the most recent update spanning March 15-20, the study reported 91% mask usage with 89% of those wearing masks wearing them correctly. This is about the same as data gathered across the two weeks prior. However, following week 4, where a 92.7% mask usage rate was reported, there was a stark dip by about 2%. This dip is likely due to the continuously decreasing COVID-19 numbers stemming from increasing numbers of U.S. adults becoming fully vaccinated. The fall in mask usage comes despite warnings from health officials to remain cautious with several COVID-19 variants circulating.

The most common mask type observed during the most recent week of data collection was cloth at 61% usage, followed by surgical masks at 31% usage.

Over 60 colleges and universities across the country, including Auburn, are participating in this study during the spring semester. Students that have been trained as data collectors continue to observe people on campus and at off-campus locations frequented by students.