University of South Carolina researchers have developed a model of the coronavirus pandemic showing that masks have stemmed the spread of disease and prevented tens of thousands of infections in places that have adopted them widely.
The team’s aim is to put hard numbers on a refrain that public health experts have repeated for months: that masks make a difference and could bring the virus to heel. The lead researcher says he wanted to give decision-makers a clear view of how big that difference is.
That’s particularly significant in South Carolina, which doesn’t have a statewide mask requirement. Instead, questions about whether to wear a mask are far more localized here. It’s up to local governments to decide whether to require them, and for the millions of people here who aren’t bound by mandates, wearing a mask is an individual decision.
The USC model, developed by the university’s Automated Intelligence