16 06

The widespread use of face masks by the public could significantly slow the spread of the coronavirus, prevent recurring waves of outbreaks, and allow for less stringent restrictions on economic activity and other facets of daily life, according to new academic research.

“Both of our models show that, under a wide range of plausible parameter conditions, face mask use by the public could significantly reduce the rate of COVID-19 spread, prevent further disease waves and allow less stringent lock-down regimes,” the researchers wrote. Here in the U.S., the CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, like supermarkets and other retail stores, where it’s difficult for people to maintain a safe distance of about six feet between one another.

Orange County, California officials this week walked back a requirement that people wear masks when in public places where they couldn’t keep at least six feet apart but said that face coverings are still strongly recommended.

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