Two new studies conclude wearing a mask in school settings helps to prevent the spread of COVID.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data from all schools in Arizona and found that schools without masking policies were more than 3 times more likely to have an outbreak than schools that masked up.

In counties where masks were not required in schools, hospitalizations of children were twice as high than counties that required masks, another study found.

Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that these studies prove “that until we get to a point where all of our school-age students are eligible to be vaccinated, and they in fact get vaccinated, the benefits of masking, as part of a layered approach to safety are inarguable.”

Murphy said parents with concerns about the safety of masking should look at what the CDC and numerous other reputable scientific organizations have concluded, and not rely on groups or individuals that make wild claims with no basis in fact.

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“They’re believing it, sadly, from talking heads and others who claim that they’ve got some amount of medical expertise and it’s putting their kids and putting others into harm’s way with their health,” he said.

New Jersey state epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan said claims that have been made about the negative impact of masks have been studied and found to be false.

“The CDC for example looked at a very specific study that showed there was no impact on oxygenation,” she said.

Some have claimed wearing a mask cuts down on the amount of oxygen you breathe and can also expose the user to potentially dangerous germs that collect on the surface of the mask.

She noted before the CDC issues guidance on a particular subject, they will review many studies and scientific briefs.

Tan noted the medical organization that focuses on children, the American Academy of Pediatrics, has concluded mask-wearing is “a very important piece in layered prevention to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among not only the pediatric population but among the community in general.”

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