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Health expert claims Americans will be wearing masks for several years

A health expert with Johns Hopkins University thinks that Americans will be wearing masks for ‘several years’.

Eric Toner, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said in an interview with CNET for the series Hacking the Apocalypse that he believes wearing facial coverings will be a part of the ‘new normal’.

‘I think that mask wearing and some degree of social distancing, we will be living with – hopefully living with happily – for several years,’ Toner said Monday.

Toner added: ‘It’s actually pretty straightforward. If we cover our faces, and both you and anyone you’re interacting with are wearing a mask, the risk of transmission goes way down. 

‘Being outside, having distance between you and other people reduces the risk of transmission dramatically.’

Eric Toner (pictured), a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said in a recent interview: ‘I think that mask wearing and some degree of social distancing, we will be living with — hopefully living with happily — for several years’

Toner added: 'It's actually pretty straightforward. If we cover our faces, and both you and anyone you're interacting with are wearing a mask, the risk of transmission goes way down.' People are seen wearing face coverings while walking along the Brooklyn Bridge on July 4

Toner added: ‘It’s actually pretty straightforward. If we cover our faces, and both you and anyone you’re interacting with are wearing a mask, the risk of transmission goes way down.’ People are seen wearing face coverings while walking along the Brooklyn Bridge on July 4 

Toner’s prediction comes at a time when several states are seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases. New COVID-19 infections are rising in 42 states, based on a Reuters analysis of the past two weeks. 

By Tuesday afternoon, the number of confirmed US cases neared 3 million, affecting nearly one of every 100 Americans and a population roughly equal to Nevada’s.

California, Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas on Tuesday shattered their previous daily record highs for new cases. 

Texas surpassed 10,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day Tuesday for the first time, crossing a sobering milestone rarely seen since the pandemic first hit the US in March.

The record high of 10,028 new cases in Texas served as another alarming new measure of the swift resurgence of COVID-19 nationwide and the failures of the country’s response. 

Republican Gov Greg Abbott of Texas aggressively began one of America’s fastest reopenings in May but has begun reversing course in recent weeks, ordering bars closed and mandating face coverings.

New York and Florida are the only other states to record more than 10,000 new cases in a single day.

New York hit that grim total back in April, when New York City hospitals were overwhelmed and hundreds of people were dying every day. Florida topped 10,000 confirmed cases last week.

In Florida, more than four dozen hospitals across 25 of 67 counties reported their intensive care units had reached full capacity, according to the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration. 

Only 17 per cent of the total 6,010 adult ICU beds statewide were available on Tuesday, down from 20 per cent three days earlier.

The record mark in Texas partly reflects a lag in testing results from the Fourth of July weekend, when newly reported cases were far below what Texas has seen in recent weeks. 

But Abbott said the numbers should still be ‘an alarm bell for everybody’ who is skeptical about whether the virus is a threat.

Toner's prediction comes at a time when several states are seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases. New COVID-19 infections are rising in 42 states, based on a Reuters analysis of the past two weeks

Toner’s prediction comes at a time when several states are seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases. New COVID-19 infections are rising in 42 states, based on a Reuters analysis of the past two weeks

By Tuesday afternoon, the number of confirmed US cases neared 3 million, affecting nearly one of every 100 Americans and a population roughly equal to Nevada's. California, Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas on Tuesday shattered their previous daily records

By Tuesday afternoon, the number of confirmed US cases neared 3 million, affecting nearly one of every 100 Americans and a population roughly equal to Nevada’s. California, Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas on Tuesday shattered their previous daily records

‘We have rapid spread of COVID-19 in the state of Texas right now,’ Abbott told San Antonio television station KENS.

Later in the interview, Abbott was noncommittal about whether he would attend his own party’s convention next week in Houston, which the Texas GOP has remained bent on holding even as the mayor, doctors and businesses pressure the party to cancel. 

Houston has emerged as one of the nation’s hot zones in the pandemic. However, Republican activists, some of whom have called the fears overblown, have resolved to press forward with the indoor three-day convention.

Texas surged past 8,000 statewide hospitalizations for the first time over the long holiday weekend – a more than quadruple increase on the past month. 

On Tuesday, the number of hospitalizations soared past 9,000. Texas also set a new high for deaths in a single day with 60.

Mayors in some of the biggest cities in the state and US – including Austin, San Antonio and Houston – have warned that hospitals could soon become overwhelmed with coronavirus patients. 

Along the Texas-Mexico border, some cities imposed curfew orders in hopes of cutting down on large parties or social gatherings as cases have skyrocketed.

‘Many of us are running at capacity and have created new wards,’ said Michael Mann, the chief executive officer at McAllen Medical Center, which on Tuesday had more than 130 coronavirus patients taking up more than half of the facility’s beds.

‘The physical space is obviously limited, and most of the hospitals are running out of that pretty quickly.’

The record count was reported on the same day President Donald Trump leaned on governors to reopen schools this fall, arguing that some are keeping schools closed not because of the risks from the coronavirus pandemic but for political reasons. 

Texas education officials announced Tuesday that face coverings will be mandatory for students older than 10 years old and that school districts must offer on-campus learning to any family that wants their child in a classroom.

California reported more than 10,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a record rise for a single day that also surpassed the number of contact tracers recently trained by the state to detect and prevent potential outbreaks.

The 10,201 new cases reported on Tuesday took the total number of cases in California since the start of the pandemic to nearly 284,00. 

In June, California infections more than doubled with over 117,000 new cases.

The daily increase exceeds the 10,000 contact tracers Governor Gavin Newsom announced in mid-May, when case numbers were waning, as part of plans to reopen the state.

Newsom said then that more than 500 people had already been trained to work as ‘disease detectives’, using state databases to trace and advise people who had been in contact with confirmed cases.

However, instead of further reopening the state economy, Newsom last week rolled back those efforts, banning indoor restaurant dining in much of the state, closing bars and stepping up enforcement of social distancing. 

Indoor activities at restaurants, movie theaters, museums and other facilities were banned in 19 counties where 70 per cent of the population lives for at least three weeks.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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