Discarding face masks and gloves on city sidewalks is dangerous because the protective gear could spread coronavirus if someone picks them up to toss in trash cans, Mayor de Blasio said Thursday.
“Don’t throw these things on the ground. It’s actually dangerous. It actually could put other people in harm’s way,” de Blasio said during his daily message on the pandemic in response to a question from a New Yorker. “Look, we don’t like littering to begin with, but we especially don’t like littering when there might be a deadly virus on these gloves or masks. I’m not trying to be alarmist, it’s just common sense.”
Anyone who witnesses someone throwing face masks or gloves on the ground instead of in the trash should call 311 to report the “dangerous” behavior, according to the mayor.
He said those infected could leave traces of the virus on the protective masks or gloves.
“You don’t know if, God forbid, you happen to contract this disease, but if you’re on that mask, getting your breath on it, or those gloves, you’ve sneezed on them, anything like that, you don’t know,” de Blasio said. “Get rid of them! Get them out of the way so they won’t, in away way, endanger anyone else.”