Strengthening Pharmacovigilance and Regulatory Capacities in four Southern African countries (SPaRCS)
14 May 2021
SINAKO: Households in HIV care
26 August 2021

Team Members

  • Dr Sunday Onagbiye

Cloth face mask use during COVID-19 crisis: A multi-country on-line cross-sectional study among adult runners

This multi-country study was conducted between July and September 2020 in the United States and South Africa.

Project period

01/09/2020 – 31/08/2021

Project Summary

Sunday Onagbiye, UWC Department of Sports, Recreation and Exercise Science

These countries were selected as COVID-19 community transmission as still occurring and there were still active cases at the time. Undertaken in collaboration with the University of Missouri-St. Louis (USA) and the UWC Department of Sport, Recreation and Exercise Science, the aim was to assess adult runners’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding the use of cloth face masks/coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A total of 372 participants were conveniently invited using Facebook and WhatsApp, 294 being from South Africa and 78 from the USA. The majority (78%) belonged to a running club and 91% cited fitness as the reason for running/jogging. More than half (53%) were screened, 24% were tested and 15% tested positive for COVID-19.

The study showed 94% of the participants had accurate knowledge and 86% positive attitudes regarding COVID-19. 61% reported always wearing a mask when running, with 60% often using buffs. The percentage of those who incorrectly used the mask was low; never covered mouth (12%) and nose (16%), lowered mask (13%), never washed mask (3%) and hands after removing mask (4%). The majority (67%) reported that sometimes they saw other runners not wearing a mask, not covering mouth (66%) and nose (64%). The perceived risk of contracting COVID-19 among the general population was higher (47%) compared with doing so from other runners (31%).