Wearing a face mask in public could be the most important step we can take to cutting future COVID-19 cases and deaths, according to a new model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
The researchers estimate that if 95% of people now start wearing masks anytime they’re in public, it could prevent over 45,000 deaths by November 1, about a 58 percent reduction. That model predicts that universal mask usage could reduce the number of infections by 80 percent.
Fortunately, the American public seems to be on board with face masks. In late June, almost 9 of every 10 adults say they had worn a mask in public in the previous seven days, compared to only 51 percent in April. Still, 11 percent of adults recently surveyed said they have not considered wearing a mask.