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.