By Raetta Holdman

(CBS4) – President-Elect Joe Biden will ask Americans to wear a mask for the 100 days after his inauguration to help slow the spread of COVID-19. CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida says it would make a huge difference on the death rate, the number of hospitalizations and number of people getting sick.

“It really is not a national mandate to wear masks, that legally cannot be done by the federal government,” Hnia explained. “This really is the first time, though, there is some federal guidance that hopefully will be universally adopted. States and local governments are the ones who really do need to implement any mask mandates or guidelines regarding wearing a mask.”

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“We know that if everyone, or if we could even get 95% of the people let’s say to mask up for a 90-day period, three months, we could cut the death rate by about 200,000 Americans.”

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“Not only that, we’d have fewer hospitalizations, we would have fewer cases throughout the country so three’s some real practical implications.”

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The Centers for Disease Control changed its guidance Friday and now recommends people wear masks at all times they’re in public and not outdoors.

Raetta Holdman