All New Yorkers Told To Cover Faces As Coronavirus Spreads

NEW YORK CITY — Everyone in New York City should cover their faces when they go outside, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

The mayor updated the city’s new coronavirus safety recommendations Thursday in hopes of slowing its rapid spread, he said.

“We’re advising New Yorkers to wear a face covering when you’ll be outside and near other people,” de Blasio said. “It’s a simple way to reduce that community spread.”

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Projections show that half of city dwellers may contract the potentially deadly virus before the COVID-19 pandemic ends, according to de Blasio.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday morning that there were more than 50,000 cases confirmed in New York City, and city data shows 9,775 people had been hospitalized and 1,374 had died as of Thursday evening.

“A lot of people don’t even know that they have it,” de Blasio said. “Be creative, put whatever decoration you want on it.”

Facial coverings should cover the mouth and nose, and they can be reused as long as they remain dry, Dr. Oxiris Barbot said.

Cloth face coverings should not be shared and should be stored in a place where no one else can touch them, Barbot said.

The masks should be cleaned with soap and water daily and dry completely before wearing again, according to Barbot.

“These face masks are not a substitution for all the layers of protection we’ve been talking about,” Barbot warned. “The most important … is social distancing.”

De Blasio asked New Yorkers to choose bandanas, scarves or anything else that might stop droplets hanging in the air, and not to buy masks needed in overtaxed city hospitals.

“Do something homemade,” de Blasio said. “Not supplies we need from our heroes.”

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