The Grey Lady said so, so it must be true. But maybe there have been one or two cases, as detailed later in the article. NY Times columnist David Leonhardt wrote on May 11:
“There is not a single documented Covid infection anywhere in the world from casual outdoor interactions, such as walking past someone on a street or eating at a nearby table.”
Mr. Leonhardt also said the following about how the CDC waffled about outdoor transmission:
“Erring on the side of protection — by exaggerating the risks of outdoor transmission — may seem to have few downsides. But it has contributed to widespread public confusion about what really matters. Some Americans are ignoring the C.D.C.’s elaborate guidelines and ditching their masks, even indoors, while others continue to harass people who walk around outdoors without a mask.
All the while, the scientific evidence points to a conclusion that is much simpler than the C.D.C.’s message: Masks make a huge difference indoors and rarely matter outdoors.”
Unfortunately for Mr. Leonhardt, the CDC changed its guidance only hours later, stating that if you were vaccinated, you did not need to wear a mask indoors, either.
The bottom line is that there is no reliable evidence that using home-made, surgical or commercial masks indoors or outdoors prevents Covid.