Wearing masks could save more than 100,000 American lives in February, according to a new study

The study – from the Govt-19 forecast team at the University of Washington’s Health Measurements and Assessment – found that in September, only about 49% of U.S. residents wore a public mask “always”.

The study found that the number of Govt-19 deaths across the United States could reach about 1 million by February 28 if masking was 49% in February and states continue to repeal social distance orders. Published in the journal Nature Medicine Friday.

However, under the assumption that the states will close when the daily death rate per 1 million population exceeds 8 deaths, but the wearing of the mask does not change, the study’s sample projections predict that the death toll could reach 511,373 by February 28th.

95% of the population in each state wears masks – re-establishing social distance orders when social death rates in states exceed 8 deaths per 1 million people – resulting in the lowest death toll planned, with 381,798 deaths by February 28th. , According to the study.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on Govt-19 cases and deaths in the United States from February 1 to September 21. That analysis – along with other factors such as pneumonia seasonality, test rates and mask use – helped predict the course of the epidemic until February 28.

There were some limitations in the study, in which the findings were that the models were only predictive and not sure about what the future would hold – and that mask wear was volatile, so the 49% used in the study now seemed outdated.

IHME Director Dr. Chris Murray stressed during a virtual press conference on Friday that the company’s weekly modeling forecasts provide more updated data than those provided in the study. However, this study still helps to provide insight into how wearing a mask can make a difference.

“The key feature here is that a big winter surge is coming and our models have been showing it for months,” Murray said Friday.

“You can see in the paper what global masks can do, and they either show up a little bluntly or delay the uprising,” he said. “I think it’s very difficult where we are in the United States – the social spread of the virus is high – to prevent some fall winter outbreaks, but we can certainly make it very small.”

“The long-term vision presented in the study is” very important to help decision-makers – governors, the federal government, other actors – think about what we need to do, “Murray said.

Thursday night, in separate projects, Model of IHME Of the 385,611 coronavirus deaths reported in the United States as of Feb. 1, slightly lower than the forecast for the same period last week. But the company says the number of cases and deaths has increased across the United States.

“Over the past week, the increase in daily cases has become very clear. For the first time since the beginning of August, daily deaths have begun to rise. We believe that the fall / winter upsurge has begun, several weeks after the massive upsurge in Europe,” IHME said in its weekly update.

“The fall / winter upsurge intensifies in November and December and peaks in January. Many states will face great pressure on the hospital’s capacity and will have to re – impose some social distance orders. “

Phil Schwartz

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