Masks prevented as many as 450,000 COVID-19 cases in states that enacted requirements, study says

Masks prevented as many as 450,000 COVID-19 cases in states that enacted requirements, study says

More people are venturing out as some states see daily record highs for new coronavirus cases.

Top health officials say wearing a face mask can help stop the spread of the infection, and a new study is backing that up.

Research published online in the journal Health Affairs found that wearing face masks in public prevented as many as 450,000 cases of the virus in states that enacted requirements for mask use between April 8 and May 15.

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Researchers also say masks reduced the daily number of cases by as much as 2% in Washington, D.C., and the 15 states that mandated them compared to the states that did not.

The longer the mandates were in place, the higher the reduction in COVID-19 cases.

In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines encouraging cloth face coverings in public places when social distancing measures are hard to maintain.

As we see in an uptick in cases, more than a dozen states are now requiring residents to cover up. That number is expected to grow.

CDC to release new guidance on wearing face masks