Surgical mask partition reduces the risk of noncontact transmission in a golden syrian hamster model for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Noncontact transmission was found in 66.7% (10/15) of exposed naïve hamsters. Surgical mask partition for challenged index or naïve hamsters significantly reduced transmission to 25% (6/24, P=0.018). Surgical mask partition for challenged index hamsters significantly reduced transmission to only 16.7% (2/12, P=0.019) of exposed naïve hamsters. Unlike the severe COVID-19 manifestations of challenged hamsters, infected naïve hamsters had lower clinical scores, milder histopathological changes, and lower viral nucleocapsid antigen expression in respiratory tract tissues.