"We are in the middle of a war." Mayor says New Yorkers should wear face coverings outside
Mayor Bill de Blasio says new guidance from the city’s Department of Health is urging New York City residents to use a face covering while outside with other people.
He says it is for the protection of others that the coverings be worn and that no city resident should be wearing a surgical mask that could be used by medical personnel. Instead, officials say a scarf, bandana or any other cloth would work just fine.
Mayor de Blasio also reiterated that the face coverings do not circumvent any guidance put in place regarding social distancing, and that New Yorkers should remain at home.
Officials say face coverings should be used for a day, then washed and dried completely before being reused.
The mayor also urged small business owners to sign up for the “first come, first served” resources at the Small Business Administration.
The mayor also said that he spoke with the Trump administration about the need for a national registry of medical personnel who could be deployed to the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.
"We are in the middle of a war. We can feel it here in New York City," said the mayor. He said he was heartened by those he met from all over the nation outside of EMS Station 50 in Queens.
“We are not alone in the least.”
Notes from the mayor’s news conference are below:
- "We are not alone in the least." The mayor says he visited EMS Station 50 in Queens. He says they have handled the biggest surge of 911 calls in the history of New York City.
- Mayor de Blasio says he spoke with the president and his administration. They had a detailed conversation about where New York City stands. "The difficult part of the conversation was talking about the days ahead."
- Mayor de Blasio: "Anything short of a full mobilization of our military will not serve this nation sufficiently." He says, "We need personnel right now. We need military medical personnel right now."
- "We are in the middle of a war. We can feel it here in New York City." Mayor de Blasio says it's time to enlist medical personnel from around the US to 'come to the front' in NYC epicenter.
- Mayor de Blasio says new guidance from the city's Department of Health urges residents to cover their mouth and nose in public to reduce risk of transmission. This does not replace guidelines in place for social distancing. "It can be a scarf...it does not to be a surgical mask." He says a face covering is a "simple way to protect other people."
- The mayor says he wants to make sure food is available to all those who need it. There are 435 sites across the boroughs that are serving children and families three meals a day. That will be expanded beginning on Friday. From 7:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. they will be serving children and families. From 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. adults will be serviced.
- To find a school site: Go to NYC.gov or text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 877-877.
- The mayor says small businesses in need of relief can find resources at SBA.gov. Loans there are on a first come, first served basis.
- Mayor de Blasio to New Yorkers: "I'm very proud of all of you. I have no question we will see this through together."
- Officials say face coverings should be used for a day, then washed and dried completely before being reused.
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