A pedestrian wearing a face mask crosses a street in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. (Brittainy Newman/The New York Times)

With the coronavirus on the march through much of the United States, scientists are urging Americans to adopt the few health measures shown to slow the virus: universal mask use, social distancing, good ventilation indoors and hand hygiene.

Mask-wearing has become a particularly divisive — and partisan — issue over the past few months. Still, faced with a surge in cases, 40 states, including recent holdouts like Iowa and North Dakota, now have put mask requirements in place.

Among public health experts, there is near-unanimous endorsement of universal mask mandates to shield people from the virus and

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