Coronavirus News: Mayor advises all New Yorkers to wear face coverings while outside, in close contact with others

WABC logo
Friday, April 3, 2020
Mayor advises New Yorkers to wear face coverings while outside
EMBED <>More Videos

Josh Einiger has the latest details on Mayor Bill de Blasio advising all New Yorkers to wear face coverings when going outside.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio is advising all New Yorkers to wear face coverings when going outside or if in close contact with other people.

The mayor made the announcement Thursday afternoon, but was quick to clarify this does not mean a professional or surgical mask -- those should be left for first responders and healthcare workers.

The face coverings can be "homemade" and can consist of a bandana, a scar or another piece of clothing.

Scientists say they've been looking at data from other countries where everyone wears masks. They have concluded the most important thing isn't to use it for protection from others, but instead to protect others from you.

But officials stress wearing a mask is just in addition to everything else that should be done to fight the coronavirus.

"Remember your eyes are not in the mask, so if you're touching things and then touching your eyes ,you're exposing yourself in the same way," said Dr. Deborah Birx. "So we don't want people to feel like 'oh I'm wearing a mask, I'm protected and I'm protecting others.' You may be protecting others, but don't get a false sense of security that mask is protecting you from getting infected."

De Blasio's guidance is just that -- an advisory -- and it is not expected to be enforced for the foreseeable future.

The mayor says there are more important things to achieve with enforcement such as sheltering in place and social distancing.


Where are the testing centers

See how our communities are making a difference

Free educational resources for parents and children

How you can help victims of coronavirus

Coronavirus news and live updates in New York

Coronavirus news and live updates in New Jersey

Coronavirus news and live updates in Connecticut

New York City updates

Long Island updates

1 of 241
Pedestrians wear protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic while walking on the boardwalk Friday, May 22, 2020, in Long Beach, N.Y.
/Frank Franklin II

How coronavirus is leaving ghost towns in its path

Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?

Social distancing: What is it and how does it stop the spread of coronavirus?

Coronavirus closures and cancelations

Coronavirus tips: What Americans need to know

Related Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

Total count of COVID-19 cases based on patient address