New Yorkers told to cover mouth and nose with cloth masks when outside

ALL New Yorkers are told to cover their mouth and nose with homemade cloth masks when they go outside as NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says he does not regret issuing the order earlier because masks needed to be prioritized for hospitals

  • New Yorkers should use homemade masks made of cloth, a scarf or a bandanna Mayor Bill de Blasio advised on Thursday
  • The advice comes as new studies suggest people who show no symptoms of coronavirus  are adding more to the spread than previously thought
  • De Blasio warned that it was not an excuse to stop social distancing
  • He added that surgical masks must be left for medical workers 
  • He revealed he has called for a national enlistment of medical personnel
  • The mayor asked President Trump to employ an enlistment service for anyone with medical training which will send them to the front lines of the outbreak 
  • De Blasio said that enlistment is the only way to save lives at the epicenter
  • It comes as Trump gave approval for the temporary hospital at the Javitts Center to be used to treat coronavirus patients 
  • New York City’s death toll from coronavirus approached 1,400 Thursday

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned all New Yorkers Thursday that they should cover their mouth and nose with a homemade cloth mask when they go outside, even if they are healthy, to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. 

Speaking during his daily press conference on the city’s coronavirus response, the mayor revealed that new evidence has suggested that face coverings may prevent the spread of the coronavirus but added he did not regret delaying the order. 

De Blasio warned that most New Yorkers should craft their own face covering using cloth, a scarf or a bandanna, leaving face masks for medical staff and others working on the front line. 

He also said that he had spoken with President Donald Trump earlier on Thursday, calling for a national enlistment to be established for medical professionals, or anyone with medical training at all, that would deploy even civilians to the major outbreak hotspots.  

The mayor said Thursday that 65,000 new hospital beds will be put in place in New York City over the next four weeks, describing it as a ‘herculean’ effort, but only an enlistment service would ensure that the medical personnel needed are available to ensure patients are treated. 

The new guidelines from de Blasio came as Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed that President Donald Trump granted approval Thursday afternoon for the temporary hospital facility at Javitts Center in Manhattan to be used to treat COVID-19 patients. 

As of Thursday afternoon, New York City’s death toll from coronavirus approached 1,400 and more than 47,000 city residents were confirmed positive.  

Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that New Yorkers should now cover their mouth and and nose if they leave their homes after new evidence suggests that asymptotic carriers may be leading to more spread of the coronavirus in the community than was previously thought

A person wearing a protective mask walks in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. All New Yorkers are not asked to cover their mouth and nose when they leave home but are warned that they should craft their own homemade mask and not take surgical mask supplies from others 

A man wearing a face mask is seen sitting on the NYC subway with a grocery bag full of toilet paper amid the coronavirus outbreak. All New Yorkers just now cover their faces

According to de Blasio, a new study published on Wednesday in Singapore suggested that asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus may be adding more the spread than previously thought. 

The new evidence has led the city to release guidelines for New Yorkers which advise everyone to cover their mouth and nose with a cloth or other face covering if they leave their homes.  

The guidelines also extend to children. 

The Mayor of Los Angeles made the same recommendation yesterday. 

The mayor stressed that face masks including N95 or surgical masks should be left for medical workers and other essential workers, encouraging others to craft their own coverings with scarfs and bandannas if they need to go outside. 

This because it seems now that more asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people may be spreading COVID. The advice is aimed at preventing those who are not showing any symptoms or who have symptoms but are not yet known to have the coronavirus from increasing the spread.     

‘I’m talking about face coverings, scarves, bandannas, it doesn’t have to be fancy to work,’ de Blasio said. 

De Blasio spoke to President Donald Trump on Thursday when he pushed the president to create a national enlistment for medical personnel that will send them to the frontlines

Dr. Oxiris Barbot, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, advised New Yorkers use a cloth mask they can wask with soap and water

‘For individuals who may be at the very, very beginning of an illness and don’t know it, to ensure they don’t transmit to other people,’ Dr. Oxiris Barbot, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, added of the advice. 

‘If someone has to go outside I want them [the masks] to be a reminder to anyone they come in contact in to keep a distance of six feet, an indication to keep six feet distance.

‘I recommend a cloth covering like a bandanna, a scarf, but it is important that it covers the nose and the mouth.

‘It should be used for a day and then you can hand wash them in soap and water. The important thing is that they dry completely, so have more than one face covering so you can alternate them,’ she added. 

De Blasio argued that New Yorkers should not use a face covering as an excuse to abandon other guidelines such as social distancing and shelter in place which he stated were the most important orders to live by.  

He questioned several times about why such guidance was not encouraged in New York before now, as country’s outbreak epicenter saw startling leaps in cases and deaths. 

A person wears a DIY mask in the Bushwick neighborhood on Thursday. All New Yorkers are now being asked to wear a similar face covering when they leave their homes

Face masks being sold on a street in Brooklyn, New York, amid the coronavirus outbreak. People are advised to make their own face covering and not to use a surgical mask

The Mayor claimed he did not regret delaying the order, saying that the evidence was not there before to suggest that the face covering guidelines were needed and that it was first important to ensure that New Yorkers understood the more important protections such as washing hands and social distancing. 

‘It is the first time in the past days that studies that show asymptomatic transmissions were published.’ he said.

‘There was a real concern all along but we were focusing people on the most important things, the basic hygiene, social distancing, to make sure we did not send the message that would make people overconfident in the worst way. 

‘Face covering just part of it,’ he added. 

‘We were very concerned all along about the supply. This was really a big factor at play and we’ve been fighting for PPE.

‘It was important not to give the impression you should grab everything and hoard up so without a lot of evidence we did not think it made a lot of sense to tell people to grab supplies and deny them to others.’ 

Earlier on Thursday, de Blasio had spoken to the White House including President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, FEMA officials, and adviser Jared Kushner about the pressing challenges in the coming days, thanking them for sending supplies to protect the NYPD. 

He told the President of the drastic need for both supplies, ventilators and personnel to help manage to high numbers of patients in ICU units, revealing that 65,000 new beds are going to be made available in the city in the next four weeks. 

De Blasio warned, however, that the military must be utilized if the outbreak is going to be managed, saying the only way the new temporary facilities can be managed is with the leaders of the military, telling the President that they must be used to save lives.

He added that he pressed the President again to send further medical personnel to aid with the fight, outlining that at least 1,000 more nurses and 150 more doctors are needed if lives in the city are going to be saved. 

‘It’s not going to happen unless we get on a war footing,’ he said. 

De Blasio argued that a national enlistment must be established that will deploy medical personnel to the areas of the country where they are most needed. 

He said that anyone who can be spared by their own city, town or state and has any kind of medical training should be drafted into national service and send to the areas at the front of the country’s outbreak.  

The mayor claimed it was the only successful course of action ‘if we were gonna save every life we can save’. 

As de Blasio spoke, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed that President Trump has granted approval for the temporary hospital  facility at the Javitts Center in Manhattan to be used to treat coronavirus patients. 

The facility was first established to treat other patients but Cuomo said that the rise in patients in the last number of days has been so extreme that the beds are now needed to deal with the outbreak directly.  

‘As we all know the growing coronavirus cases are threatening the capacity of our hospital system,’ Gov. Cuomo announced. 

‘The state-owned Javitts Center has been turned into a 2,500-bed emergency medical facility being run by the US Army. 

‘The original plan for Javits was that it be used to take non-COVID patients from hospitals to open up hospital beds. However, the number of COVID positive patients has increased so dramatically that it would be beneficial to the state if Javits could accept COVID positive patients.

‘I asked President Trump this morning to consider the request and the urgency of the matter, and the President has just informed me that he granted New York’s request. I thank the President for his cooperation in this pressing matter and his expeditious decision making.’

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