News & Politics

Which Wards Are Best and Worst at Mask-Wearing? DC Just Conducted a Study

Mask compliance in the city is good, but it's far from perfect.

Photograph via iStock.

DC recently conducted a “mask audit,” and among the findings is that almost a fifth of Washingtonians still aren’t wearing face coverings in public. Still, we’re doing pretty good. The study observed individuals across the city and found that 17 percent weren’t wearing a mask, 11 percent were wearing a mask incorrectly, and 72 percent were wearing a mask properly.

For the survey, contact tracers were stationed at 151 locations across all eight wards between November 18 and December 9. Ward 2 had the highest level of mask compliance, with 84 percent wearing a mask properly, and Ward 7 had the lowest level of mask-wearing, at 55 percent.

Women were better than men at properly wearing a mask. 79 percent of females were observed wearing a mask correctly, while males were only observed doing so 67 percent of the time. The city noted males made up 55 percent of the data set, and females made up 45 percent.

Mask compliance was largely similar for age groups 19 and up, with correct mask wearing ranging between 70 and 73 percent. But children from five to 18 seem to have a harder time with wearing them. Though the overall level of compliance was similar to other age groups, only 59 percent were wearing their masks correctly.

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.