An online survey conducted March 18–19, 2020 on the official China CDC WeChat account platform was used to evaluate the effect of public education about masks usage during the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic. Chinese nationals older than 18 were eligible for the survey. The survey collected 5,761 questionnaires from the 31 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions of mainland China. 99.7% and 97.2% of the respondents answered correctly that respiratory droplets and direct contact were the main transmission routes. 73.3% of the respondents considered COVID-19 to be ‘serious’ or ‘very serious’. When going to the hospital, 96.9% (2,885/2,976 had gone to a hospital) used a mask during the COVID-19 epidemic, while 41.1% (2,367/5,761) did not use a mask before the epidemic. Among the respondents that used public transportation and went shopping, 99.6% and 99.4%, respectively, wore masks. Among respondents who returned to work, 75.5% wore a mask at the workplace, while 86.3% of those who have not returned to work will choose to use masks when they return to the workplace. The Chinese public is highly likely to use a mask during COVID-19 epidemic, and the mask usage changed greatly since the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, public education has played an important role during the COVID-19 epidemic.