Researchers at the University of Washington looked at non-pharmaceutical ways to minimize COVID-19[feminine[feminine death.
Their analysis looked at how the disease spread across different states and projected the effects of varying levels of social distancing and mask use from mid-September 2020 to late February 2021.
The risk of coronavirus and the pressure on hospitals will remain high throughout the winter in all scenarios, they said, especially in populated states such as Florida and California.
But if 95% of people wore a mask in public, researchers say 129,574 lives could be saved – or 96,000 lives if 85% of people took it.
More than 223,000 coronavirus-related deaths have so far been recorded in the United States since the start of the crisis, according to Johns Hopkins University.
“Our results indicate that the universal use of masks, a relatively affordable and low-impact intervention, has the potential to serve as a priority rescue strategy in all US states,” says the research – published in the journal Nature Medicine.
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The authors cite a recent study which suggests that only 49% of Americans say they “always” wear a mask in public.
However, citing an article from the New York Times, they add that the use of masks at 95% had already been observed in some areas of the city.
Donald Trump avoided the use of masks earlier in the pandemic, but eventually started wearing one.
His electoral rival, Democratic candidate Joe Biden, stressed the importance of face masks, insisting that “masks matter” and “save lives”.
Confronting Mr Trump in the last presidential debate on Thursday, Mr Biden waved his black mask as an accessory and said: “If we only wore masks, we could save 100,000 lives.”
In the UK, face masks have been made mandatory in many public places after conflicting initial reports on their effectiveness.