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CDC report says vast majority of Americans have actually been wearing face masks since spring


COVID-19 cases are at record levels

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report Tuesday that said, starting in the spring, most Americans have been wearing masks.

As the New York Times reported on the CDC release, "a vast majority of Americans of all ages have been wearing face coverings since April."

The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report stated what many polls have been showing: A significant majority of Americans are wearing masks — and have been doing so since spring.

According to the CDC's survey data, which the agency said came from the months of April to June, the reported use of face masks among adults (ages 18 and older) in April was 78%. That figure jumped to 83% in May.

By June, the share of American adults wearing masks had risen to 89%.

Generally, younger adults (ages 18-29) were the group with the smallest share of respondents saying they wore masks, while older adults (ages 60 and older) were the group most likely to wears masks.

Image source: "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," Oct. 27, 2020 via CDC.gov screenshot

These numbers track with more recent polling on face mask usage, as the Times noted.

The Pew Research Center reported on Aug. 27 that 85% of adults said they had been wearing masks, which was a jump from the 65% of respondents who said the same in June.

In July, National Geographic reported that 85% of Americans said they wear face masks when they leave their homes.

Three months later, even that significant figure had increased.

National Geographic reported on Oct. 5 that 92% of Americans said they were wearing face masks — and 74% said they "always" do so.

What's the status of COVID-19 infections in the U.S.?

According to the New York Times' own COVID-19 tracking data on Wednesday, the United States is seeing a record surge in COVID-19 cases, despite increased mask wearing by Americans — as reported by the Times.

On Tuesday, the country saw 74,410 new confirmed cases, with an average of 73,094 cases per day over the last seven days. According to the paper, that's a 39% increase from the average two weeks ago.

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