Evidence that masks half the transmission of Covid-19

S Robinson made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Ministry of Health should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: S Robinson

Dear Ministry of Health,

Please provide the evidence that has been used to justify this statement -

"Secondly – wear a mask. Masks are still required in many indoor settings. A good rule of thumb is to wear a mask in indoor public settings as we know that mask use halves the risk of spread of COVID-19."

https://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/ne...

Yours faithfully,

S Robinson

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From: OIA Requests

Thank you for your Official Information Act request. This is
an automatic reply to let you know we received it.

In accordance with the Act, we'll let you know our decision within no more
than 20 working days. If you'd like to calculate the timeframe, you can
use the Ombudsman's online calculator
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Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
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means we may take some time in responding to your request. The Ministry
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OIA responses considered to be of public interest:
[2]https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...

Please also refer to the Unite Against Covid-19 website for copies of
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Sometimes we may need to clarify aspects of a request. You can expect to
hear from us soon if that is the case here.

Ngā mihi,

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [3][email address]

 

 

 

 

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References

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1. http://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&a...
2. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
3. mailto:[email address]

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From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora,  

  

Thank you for your request for official information received on 21 May
2022 for: 

  

"Please provide the evidence that has been used to justify this statement
-
"Secondly – wear a mask. Masks are still required in many indoor settings.
A good rule of thumb is to wear a mask in indoor public settings as we
know that mask use halves the risk of spread of COVID-19." 

  

The Ministry's reference number for your request is: H202206709.  

  

As required under the Official Information Act 1982, the Ministry will
endeavour to respond to your request no later than 20 June 2022, being 20
working days after the day your request was received. 

  

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. If
we are unable to respond to your request within this time frame, we will
notify you of an extension of that time frame. 

  

If you have any queries related to this request, please do not hesitate to
get in touch. 

 

Ngā mihi

 

OIA Services Team

 

[1]Ministry of Health information releases

[2]Unite against COVID-19

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
2. https://covid19.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: OIA Requests


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Tçnâ koe S 

 

Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the
Act) to the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) on 21 May 2022 for:  

  

Please provide the evidence that has been used to justify this statement
- "Secondly – wear a mask. Masks are still required in many indoor
settings. A good rule of thumb is to wear a mask in indoor public
settings as we know that mask use halves the risk of spread of
COVID-19." 

 

The Ministry does not conduct scientific research or studies. Please refer
to online scientific studies for further
information: [1]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ or [2]h...
  

Please refer to the updated page on the Ministry of Health website
regarding information on the use of face masks in the
community: [3]www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/covid-19-use-face-masks-community.  

The evidence indicates that the use of masks/face coverings in the
community provide benefit in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infection. A [4]rapid
review from the Republic of Ireland that found that “the evidence within
this rapid evidence updates points towards face mask use in the community
providing a potentially beneficial effect in reducing SARS-CoV-2
infection, alongside a lack of evidence of significant harm associated
with their use."    

 

A [5]rapid review from Norway concludes that there is evidence that
medical facemasks can protect people from respiratory infections in
community settings. This conclusion was based on 13 observational studies,
the majority of which found a benefit from the use of masks;
A [6]scientific brief from the CDC concludes that research supports the
use of masks in the community to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and that
the benefit is derived from a combination of source control and personal
protection.  

  

The Ministry constantly reviews international studies and evidence on mask
wearing in the community setting. Our current advice aligns with that of
the World Health Organization
(WHO): [7]www.who.int/publications/i/item/advice-on-the-use-of-masks-in-the-community-during-home-care-and-in-healthcare-settings-in-the-context-of-the-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov)-outbreak.   

  

Under section 28(3) of the Act, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [8][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602.  

Ngâ mihi 

  

OIA Services Team 

  

[9]Ministry of Health information releases 

[10]Unite against COVID-19 

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References

Visible links
1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
2. https://www.nejm.org/
3. https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise...
4. https://www.hiqa.ie/sites/default/files/...
5. https://www.fhi.no/globalassets/dokument...
6. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nco...
7. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/...(2019-ncov)-outbreak
8. mailto:[email address]
9. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
10. https://covid19.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: S Robinson

Dear OIA Requests,

The majority of the links sent are either homepages with no link to specific studies, the MoH and CDC site with no evidence or links to evidence and the following two listed below.

1: https://www.hiqa.ie/sites/default/files/....

It's stated “Studies that specifically consider SARS-CoV-2 transmission largely comprise observational studies, including ecological studies, and laboratory studies. There is a lack of high quality trial data on the effectiveness of face mask policies in reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the community.“ Also stated “While acknowledging the lack of direct evidence from studies on the effectiveness of universal masking of healthy people in the community to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection,”

2: https://www.fhi.no/globalassets/dokument...

In the NIPH Memo it's stated “In situations where the incidence of Covid-19 is low and controlled, we do not recommend the use of facemasks by individuals without respiratory symptoms in the community who are not in close contact with people who are known or assumed to be infected.”

I can find no evidence that masks "halves the transmission of Covid-19." Please direct me to the evidence to back up this very specific claim.

Yours sincerely,

S Robinson

Link to this

From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora,  

  

Thank you for your request for official information. The Ministry's
reference number for your request is: H202207708.  

  

As required under the Official Information Act 1982, the Ministry will
endeavour to respond to your request no later than 20 working days after
the day your request was received. If you'd like to calculate the
timeframe, you can use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [1]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/ 

  

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. If
we are unable to respond to your request within this time frame, we will
notify you of an extension of that time frame. 

  

If you have any queries related to this request, please do not hesitate to
get in touch. 

Ngā mihi 

  

OIA Services Team 

  

[2]Ministry of Health information releases 

[3]Unite against COVID-19 

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Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FYI request #19418 email]

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[16]https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...

If you find this service useful as an Official Information officer, please
ask your web manager to link to us from your organisation's OIA or LGOIMA
page.

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/
2. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
3. https://covid19.govt.nz/
4. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
5. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
6. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
7. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
8. https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise...
9. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
10. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
11. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
12. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
13. mailto:[email
14. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
15. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
16. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...

Link to this

S Robinson left an annotation ()

An MoH advertisement in a local newspaper states -

"Protect them for life. Immunise"
"COVID-19 vaccinations are available for tamariki aged 5-11."

Is the MoH claiming that COVID-19 vaccinations protect for life?

Along with my previous request could you also please provide the evidence to allow this claim to be made.

Link to this

From: S Robinson

Dear OIA Requests,

An MoH advertisement in a local newspaper states -

"Protect them for life. Immunise"
"COVID-19 vaccinations are available for tamariki aged 5-11."

Is the MoH claiming that COVID-19 vaccinations protect for life?

Along with my previous request could you also please provide the evidence to allow this claim to be made.

Yours sincerely,

S Robinson

Link to this

c a left an annotation ()

Please make a complaint to the advertising standards authority. https://www.asa.co.nz/complaints/make-a-...

I have done this and had covid ads removed due to false advertising claims.

Link to this

From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora,  

  

Thank you for your request for official information. The Ministry's
reference number for your request is: H202208095.  

  

As required under the Official Information Act 1982, the Ministry will
endeavour to respond to your request no later than 20 working days after
the day your request was received. If you'd like to calculate the
timeframe, you can use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [1]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/ 

  

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. If
we are unable to respond to your request within this time frame, we will
notify you of an extension of that time frame. 

  

If you have any queries related to this request, please do not hesitate to
get in touch. 

Ngā mihi 

  

OIA Services Team 

  

[2]Ministry of Health information releases 

[3]Unite against COVID-19 

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From: S Robinson <[FOI #19418 email]>
Sent: Saturday, 18 June 2022 15:09
To: OIA Requests <[email address]>
Subject: Re: Acknowledgement of your request for official information
(ref: H202207708) 
 
Dear OIA Requests,

An MoH advertisement in a local newspaper states -

"Protect them for life. Immunise"
"COVID-19 vaccinations are available for tamariki aged 5-11."

Is the MoH claiming that COVID-19 vaccinations protect for life?

Along with my previous request could you also please provide the evidence
to allow this claim to be made.

Yours sincerely,

S Robinson

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Link to this

Ministry of Health


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Tēnā koe S 

 

Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the
Act) to the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) on 9 June 2022. You
requested:  

 

“I can find no evidence that masks "halves the transmission of Covid-19."
Please direct me to the evidence to back up this very specific claim.” 

 

The [1]COVID-19 Science update of 23 July 2021 refers to a study published
by the United States CDC in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
(MMWR) on 9 July 2021 which can be found here:
[2]www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/pdfs/mm7027e1-H.pdf. This study stated
that “compared to no masking and no air cleaning, HEPA filtration alone
decreased the exposure to simulated airborne particles by 50-65%
(depending on their location in the room) and masking alone reduced
exposure by 72%” 

 

A global study published towards the end of 2021 found that the rate of
COVID-19 transmission decreased by 53% when masks were worn. This study is
publicly available at: [3]www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj-2021-068302.  

 

A laboratory study using manikins found that surgical masks were 50%
effective at protecting the wearer and 60%–70% effective at protecting
others from infection. This study is publicly available at:
[4]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32371934/.  

 

Another study reported a large reduction in the risk of infection in
favour of face mask use (OR 0.15; 95% CI 0.07 to 0.34, RD −14.3%; −15.9 to
−10.7; low certainty), with stronger associations with N95 or similar
respirators, compared with disposable surgical masks or similar masks.
This study is publicly available at:
[5]https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/mSp....  

 

I trust this information fulfils your request. Under section 28(3) of the
Act, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to review any decisions made
under this request. The Ombudsman may be contacted by email at:
[6][email address] by calling 0800 802 602. 

Ngā mihi 

  

OIA Services Team 

M[7]inistry of Health information releases 
U[8]nite against COVID-19 

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/...
2. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/pd...
3. https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj-2021...
4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32371934/
5. https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/mSp...
6. mailto:[email address]
7. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
8. https://covid19.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: S Robinson

Dear Ministry of Health,

The first link you've sent does not include the text that you have attributed to it. It's a study using ventilation systems, air cleaners and simulations. The CDC also recommends that “the use of face masks in public places by everyone who is not fully vaccinated.” Implying that those who are vaccinated don't need to wear masks.

The second study has misrepresented data. A detailed response with links is at the Rapid Responses tab (https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj-2021...) In fact there are links there to the following -

“Unfortunately both the CDC and WHO presented in their official guidelines until may-june 2020 that mask wearing by the general public to prevent viral infections like flu do not have any benefits, it could even increase infections (1,3,7,15).”

Once again I'm failing to find the text you've attributed to this study using manikins.(https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32371934/) You're really clasping at straws with this one.

The opening paragraph sums it up in the last study “Guidelines from the CDC and the WHO recommend the wearing of face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19); however, the protective efficiency of such masks against airborne transmission of infectious severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) droplets/aerosols is unknown .”

So I've just wasted 15 mins and we're back to square one. 2.5 years and you don't have a single study to back up the claim?

I'm still also waiting for a response to the question of how MoH can claim that Covid vaccinations protect for life.

Yours faithfully,

S Robinson

Link to this

From: S Robinson

Dear Ministry of Health,

Here are multiple links to evidence that masks do not prevent transmission of Covid-19.

https://twitter.com/johndefeo/status/153...

Please consider when preparing the next wave of propaganda.

Yours faithfully,

S Robinson

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From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora S Robinson
Please find attached a response to your request for official information.

Ngā mihi 

  

OIA Services Team 

M[1]inistry of Health information releases 
U[2]nite against COVID-19 

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
2. https://covid19.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: S Robinson

Dear OIA Requests,

It's false, deceptive, misleading and it's been reported.

Yours sincerely,

S Robinson

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From: OIA Requests



Thank you for your Official Information Act request. This is
an automatic reply to let you know we received it.

In accordance with the Act, we'll let you know our decision within no more
than 20 working days. If you'd like to calculate the timeframe, you can
use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [1]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

Please also refer to the Unite Against Covid-19 website for copies of
papers, minutes, and key advice for the decisions the Government has made
relating to COVID-19.

Sometimes we may need to clarify aspects of a request. You can expect to
hear from us soon if that is the case here.

Ngā mihi,

OIA Services

Government and Executive Services

Office of the Director-General

Manatū Hauora (Ministry of Health) 

E: [2][email address]

 

 

 

 

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References

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1. http://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&a...
2. mailto:[email address]

Link to this

From: S Robinson

Dear Ministry of Health,

https://swprs.org/face-masks-and-covid-t...

Yours faithfully,

S Robinson

Link to this

From: S Robinson

Dear Ministry of Health,

It's pretty obvious to all by now that if you can't provide a single study to back up your claims that your claims are false.

Once again this government has shown itself to be the least honest and transparent this country has ever known. Great to see that the majority are waking up to your lies and deceit. I look forward to the Ombudsman's decision.

Yours faithfully,

S Robinson

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