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Science relating to mask mandates

Daniel made this Government Information (Public Access) request to NSW Ministry of Health

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Dear NSW Ministry of Health,

I wish to request the review(s) of the medical evidence and scientific studies that resulted in the advice on face masks to prevent the spread of covid-19 per the "Greater Sydney Restrictions" as at 8th Sept 2021

Noting that the department is not likely to be the custodian of the source scientific literature, I also request to be provided with references to where the specific medical evidence and scientific studies referred to in these reviews can be found in the public domain.

Yours faithfully,


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Dear Daniel


Thank you for your email.


Following a review of your request, and from advice provided internally,
we advise that the information you are seeking would be in the public
domain in the category of general infection transmission. However much of
the information you are seeking is available on the Agency for Clinical
Innovation’s website.


The Critical Intelligence Unit within the Agency for Clinical Innovation


The Critical Intelligence Unit within the Agency for Clinical Innovation
(ACI), a separate agency to the NSW Ministry of Health, is a team which
collates evidence and peer reviewed studies that they have provided to
guide decision making.


Please consider that any decisions that have been made regarding the
lockdown and mask mandates consider research evidence as only one input
alongside many other relevant considerations. However, they advised that
they cannot confirm what peer reviewed studies were utilised by the
decision-makers. Importantly noted that a number of other jurisdictions
(in Australia and international) had already set the precedent for outdoor
mask wearing prior to NSW mandating masks.


For your reference, the ACI collates research evidence and publishes a
summary of new evidence and reports from international sources on their
website which can be found here:


There are many publications on public health interventions such as stay at
home orders and masks. These have been featured in the daily digest and in
evidence checks on transmission.


There are also many publications on isolation of the virus in the public
domain e.g.  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/6/2...

To subscribe to the Critical Intelligence Unit’s daily digest you may
email them at: [email address]


Other Publicly Available Information

In addition, please find below other publicly available information that
may be of interest to you (please note that this list is not an exhaustive


Daily media releases and weekly epidemiology reports:


Other information

If after reviewing the above information you wish to proceed with a formal
GIPA application, please note the following:

·         For information relating to testing practices related to NSW
public pathology (not inclusive of private pathology providers) please
contact NSW Health Pathology by the following link:
https://www.pathology.health.nsw.gov.au/..., or

·         For information relating to the NSW Ministry of Health’s
response to the COVID-19 pandemic please contact the NSW Ministry of
Health by the following link:
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/gipaa/Page... , or contact us for
a formal GIPA application form, or

·         For information held by the Commonwealth Department of Health
please contact them directly by the following link:


Kind regards


NSW Ministry of Health GIPA Team

Corporate Governance and Risk Management, Legal and Regulatory Services

NSW Ministry of Health | 1 Reserve Road, St Leonards, New South Wales 2065

[email address]





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