On Wednesday, Cuomo ordered all New Yorkers to cover their faces in public when they can’t maintain a proper social distance. “You’re walking down the street alone? Great! You’re now at an intersection and there are people at the intersection, and you’re going to be in proximity to other people? Put the mask on.” (On Thursday, he extended the lockdown until May 15.)
Also Wednesday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called for all grocery stores in New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., to insist that customers wear masks while shopping. “I’m asking every store to put up a sign that you’re required to wear a face covering. This is another one of the things we have to do to protect each other,” he said at his daily press briefing.
After weeks of obfuscation over the efficacy of face masks among federal agencies and controversy over health-care workers wearing disposable masks multiple times due to the lack of personal protective equipment, the Trump administration and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have agreed on one thing: all Americans should wear face masks in public settings when they’re not maintaining the recommended 6-feet distance from each other.
Labor unions have also been pushing for action. Kroger KR,
“Make no mistake, this designation is absolutely critical as it will ensure these frontline workers have priority access to personal protection equipment like masks and gloves,” Kroger Chairman and Chief Executive Rodney McMullen and UFCW International President Marc Perrone said in a joint statement. Such a designation would give these workers priority for coronavirus testing.