During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were mixed messages from global leaders and public health professionals regarding the need to use face masks to prevent widespread SARS-CoV-2 transmission. However, following a growing body of evidence showing the effectiveness of face masks in limiting SARS-CoV-2 transmission, mask mandates and recommendations were put in place by local authorities worldwide, including in British Columbia, Canada. These measures were met with some opposition from certain groups due to a variety of reasons, including misinformation and disinformation about the utility of face masks in disease prevention and personal concerns regarding comfort and impingement upon self-autonomy, which may have influenced face mask usage patterns. In this study, we examine the face mask usage patterns in British Columbia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To characterize face mask usage patterns in British Columbia, Canada between September 2020 and December 2021, to assess the factors associated with face mask use in the province, and compare attitudes towards COVID-19 and control measures among face mask users and non-users among BC Mix Study respondents during this period.