2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Caile Spear


Masks, 6’ distance and handwashing are the primary methods to prevent spread of COVID-19. Idaho had a rising number of COVID-19 cases and no statewide mask mandate to prevent transmission. Boise City Public Health Emergency Order No. 20-13 mask mandate started on 11/23/20 and Nampa had no mandate. Our research question focused on: How does a city mask mandate impact usage?

Observation locations were Boise, ID and Nampa, ID. Locations included 2 similar grocery stores, 2 similar general stores, and one gas station. Every 3rd person exiting the store was counted. Mask use criteria include whether the subject wore a mask, type of mask worn, and if mask was worn correctly. Observation sessions were either 41 persons or 30 minutes long.

Based on 1,975 observations there was a difference between mask use in Boise and Nampa.

Boise City, mask mandate, had a higher percentage (95.67%) of people using masks and (94.23%) used them correctly. And Nampa, with no mask mandate, had lower mask usage (68.44%) and higher incorrect usage (9.09%). Overall, the mask mandate is an effective means of increasing the use of masks and reducing COVID-19 transmission.



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