A new research tool has revealed which states have the highest populations of people who are wearing face coverings in compliance with CDC guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, and which states have the lowest numbers of people wearing face masks.
According to COVIDcast, a digital map which tracks public behavior based on extensive surveys, Wyoming has the fewest people wearing masks, at just 65.6 percent. This is quite a drop from the rest of the list; the states with the next-lowest mask stats are South Dakota at 73.67 percent and North Dakota at 74.31 percent. North and South Dakota are also the top two states with the highest numbers of newly reported COVID cases per 100,000 people, and the most newly reported COVID deaths over the last seven days.
Conversely, right now Massachusetts is the state with the highest number of people wearing masks, at 94.87 percent of the population. This is followed by Maryland (94.18 percent), Rhode Island (93.5 percent), Connecticut (93.45 percent), and Vermont (93.31 percent). While not technically a state in its own right, District of Columbia has the highest levels of compliance, with 97.22 percent of people wearing masks.
The map was created by the Delphi Group, the epidemiological forecasting unit at Carnegie Mellon University, which aims to use technology and data to inform public health decision-making, and was based on surveys conducted via social media.
“Every day, Delphi surveys tens of thousands of Facebook users, asking them a broad set of COVID-related questions, including whether they, or anyone in their household, are currently experiencing COVID-related symptoms,” reads the COVIDcast website. “We also ask them if they wear a mask when they are in public. For this signal, we estimate the percentage of people who wear a mask most or all of the time when they are in public.”
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