Researchers estimate the mandate would “meaningfully” increase mask usage across the country by 15% and cut the daily rise in new coronavirus cases by between 0.6% and 1%.
“If a face mask mandate meaningfully lowers coronavirus infections, it could be valuable not only from a public health perspective but also from an economic perspective because it could substitute for renewed lock-downs that would otherwise hit GDP,” the researchers wrote.
Using face coverings to slow the spread of the virus could be a substitute for strict stay-at-home measures that would otherwise cut 5% — or $1 trillion — off the U.S. GDP, the analysts found. The impact would especially be felt in states such as Florida and Texas, neither of which require face coverings.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has already issued a statewide mandate requiring face masks in high-risk settings.
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