Mayor: New Yorkers Should Wear ‘Face Covering’ In Public Amid COVID-19 Crisis

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday provided new guidelines to New Yorkers for going out in public amid the coronavirus pandemic.

During his daily press briefing, the mayor said new studies have shown asymptomatic people appear to be transmitting the disease.

Therefore, he’s recommending all New Yorkers wear a protective “face covering” when they know they will be around people in public.

RELATED: MTA Recommends Riders Wear Masks Amid Coronavirus

“You can create your own version, you can be creative and put whatever you want on it, it can be as homemade as you want, but that’s what we want you to do – something homemade. Not something professional. Not something from the supplies we need for our heroes,” Mayor de Blasio said.

He said the face covering can be a scarf, bandana or another piece of clothing. The mayor stressed that New Yorkers should leave all surgical and N95 masks for healthcare workers and first responders.

The mayor said he also spoke with President Donald Trump and his coronavirus task force and told them about the reality in New York City.

“We need more beds,” the mayor said.

While the city plans to add 65,000 beds in the coming weeks, the city also desperately needs more help.

He said more beds “won’t save us unless the personnel is there.”

With the number of virus cases skyrocketing in the city, the White House has revered course and approved the Javits Center for coronavirus patients. That is not the case on the USNS Comfort, which has strict restrictions against accepting anyone with the virus. One top hospital executive calls that "a joke."

Earlier in the day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned that the state’s supply of ventilators could be exhausted in six days if the number of people becoming critically ill maintains at the current rale.

The state has sent 400 ventilators to New York City, but more is still needed.

Mayor de Blasio also called on the federal government to establish something similar to a military draft for medical personnel.

“We don’t have the same kind of draft we used to have, but we’re gonna have to create something new, right now, at this moment in history to enlist all available medical personnel from around the country and I mean civilians, anyone with medical training anywhere in the country who can be spared by their city, their town, their state to come to the frontlines,” he said.

The mayor continued: “If we’re gonna save every life we can in this state, it means taking health professionals of every kind, with every skill or every training – no matter where they are in their career – and enlisting them in a national service.”

The press conference came hours after Gov. Cuomo announced the number of coronavirus cases in the state had topped 92,000.

The number of cases in New York City is nearly 52,000 and the number of deaths statewide climbed towards 2,400.

The governor said 16,000 New Yorkers could die from the coronavirus according to one model, which projects the fatalities nationwide could reach 98,000.

Cuomo also said the outbreak could last through the summer.

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