Mayors from major cities including New York and Los Angeles are now urging residents to cover their noses and mouths if they must go out in public in the coronavirus pandemic.
“We want to make sure that anyone that doesn’t have to get it, doesn’t get it. So a face covering is just a simple way to protect other people and reduce the need of that community spread,” said Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City.
Dr. David Agus is a CBS News medical contributor. He says the change in thinking about covering our faces comes from more understanding of this new virus.
“The days before you get the symptoms you can spread the virus and also people never have symptoms,” he said. “Those people from the droplets off their mouths when they breathe or cough can spread the virus. //what it does is protects other people so you won’t spread the virus even if you don’t know you have it.”
This new guidance doesn’t mean you should cover up with medical-grade masks. You can create a face-covering with any piece of cloth like a scarf or bandana.
“Notice I haven’t called them masks,” said LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. “That’s because N95 and other medical grade masks are reserved for medical workers – like doctors and nurses. And using an N95 mask if you’re not one of them could cost a doctor or a nurse their life.”
And health officials emphasize other basic hygiene remains critical now more than ever. Wash your hands constantly, cover your cough and sneeze and stay home.. Especially if you are sick.