Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday said all New Yorkers should cover their nose and mouth when going outside amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The new guidance to wear scarves, bandanas or other pieces of clothing in public aims to curb the outbreak that’s infected 48,462 people and caused 1,397 deaths in the Big Apple.
“When you put on that face covering, you’re protecting everyone else,” the mayor said at a press briefing.
City officials emphasized that the coverings should be “homemade,” to preserve N95 and surgical masks for health care workers and first responders.
“You can create your own version, be creative, put your own decoration on it,” De Blasio said, adding the coverings shouldn’t be “professional” or “something we need for our heroes.”
The face coverings are intended to ensure that infected people who aren’t yet showing symptoms don’t transmit the disease to others when they go out for essentials.
It’s also a reminder to keep the mandated six-foot distance.
“These face coverings shouldn’t be seen as an invitation to come closer, they should actually be an indication to keep six feet’s distance,” said city health commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot.
Cloth face coverings should be used for a day and then hand-washed in soap and water, Barbot suggested, adding that it’s important they dry completely before being reused.
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