NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres joins TODAY to address the controversy over whether the general public should be wearing face masks during the coronavirus outbreak, saying “it might help a little bit” but offering a number of cautions. He says hand-washing and maintaining a 6-foot difference from others are more important. He also talks about the threat of “viral load.”
President Trump announced Friday the CDC is recommending the voluntary use of face masks for all Americans. There is still a concern on the face mask shortage for healthcare workers. Paula Reid reports.
The mayor of Los Angeles urged 4 million residents to wear masks to combat the coronavirus when they walk out in public, even as state health officials shied away from requiring a coverup. Homemade cloth masks, or even a tucked-in bandanna, will help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the nation's second-largest city and remind people to practice safe social distancing, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday as he donned a black cloth mask to make his point. "I know this looks surreal, Garcetti said. Were going to have to get used to seeing each other like this ... This will be the look. But he urged people against using medical-grade masks, such as N95 or surgical masks, which are in short supply and needed for health care workers and first responders. Garcetti also said people should only use masks when they are going out to shop for food or perform other essential tasks. Otherwise, stay home, the mayor said. "This isn't an excuse to suddenly all go out," Garcetti said. California's 40 million people are under state and local orders to stay at home except when performing essential tasks. Health experts have said that is the best way to slow the spread of the virus, which as of Wednesday had infected nearly 10,000 Californians and caused 215 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is keeping a global tally.
Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply. These employees of critical infrastructure, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security (https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforceexternal icon), have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules. The Governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will have full discretion to implement this Domestic Travel Advisory.
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.