New York City to give away 7.5 million face coverings to prevent coronavirus

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Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York, wears a protective mask while touring the Malia Mills swimwear factory, which has pivoted to manufacturing polypropylene gowns for medical workers, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images

New York City will distribute 7.5 million free cloth and non-medical face coverings immediately to further prevent the spread of Covid-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. 

New Yorkers have overwhelmingly complied with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order requiring all residents to wear face coverings when in public, de Blasio said at his daily press briefing. 

To further comply with the order and prevent the spread of the virus, the city will distribute 5 million three-ply non-medical masks and 2.5 million cloth face coverings citywide, including at grocery stores, parks, meal sites and other city locations. 

“Wherever you turn, you’re going to be offered a face covering and it’s going to be on an ongoing basis for weeks to come to make sure everyone has what they need,” de Blasio said. 

The face coverings will not be the same the city’s health-care workers use, but are still effective as long as they remain dry, de Blasio said. 

He added that for the first time since the beginning of the outbreak in March, the city will have enough personal protective equipment this upcoming week for its hospitals. De Blasio also said he is sending more than 1.9 million surgical masks to nursing homes across the five boroughs. 

“We can finally ensure for the whole week ahead that every hospital and every nursing home will get what they need,” he de Blasio said. 

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. 

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