With no end to the novel coronavirus crisis in sight, it's time New Yorkers accept face masks as part of everyday fashion, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.
Gov. Cuomo continues to push face coverings as a simple and effective way of limiting the transmission of the virus and reducing the deadly impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the state's Mid-Hudson region entering Phase 1 of reopening as of Tuesday and Long Island set to enter Phase 1 on Wednesday, Cuomo says the state's focus has turned to getting New York City back in business. The city's numbers continue to improve as it builds out its testing and tracing capabilities, but none of that is possible without cooperation and appropriate concern from everyday people, Cuomo said.
"It's about citizens and it's about what people do," the governor said Tuesday from the New York Stock Exchange. "That's been the great riddle in this whole thing...forget government, this whole trajectory is decided by people. It's personal behavior, that's what it is."
The coronavirus infection rate among healthcare workers in New York is lower than that of the general population. Gov. Cuomo pointed to that data as proof that masks are effective and said New Yorkers should lead by example without being rude to those who don't wear masks.
"Wearing a mask is officially cool," he said. "Wearing the mask has got to be something you do everyday. when you get up, you walk out of the house, you put the mask on. ... [T]his is cool, you want to encourage people to do this."
According to the state's regional monitoring dashboard, the city — which is one of the hardest-hit places on the globe — lags other regions in three of the seven metrics, but is inching closer to its goals.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said last week that he believes the city will enter Phase 1 of reopening in early-June.
Photo: Getty Images