Gov. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo urges New Yorkers to continue to wear face masks in public at his daily briefing Friday at his New York City offices.

NEW YORK (TNS) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo invoked the AIDS crisis of the 1980s Friday to encourage the use of masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

During the AIDS crisis, a public health campaign convinced people to practice safe sex and use condoms to stop the spread of HIV, he said.

“That could make a difference between life and death,” he said.

It’s the same idea now with face masks, he said. “The mask could make a difference between life and death,” Cuomo said.

A state survey showed that about 20% of the public in New York City have tested positive for the Covid-19 antibody, meaning those people had the virus. Just 12% of health-care workers had the antibodies, the same survey showed.

Cuomo said today that shows how masks, handwashing and other protective measures can work.

“You don’t have a right to infect another person,” he said. “You don’t.”

Plus, he said, it’s a requirement. In mid-April, Cuomo signed an order requiring people to wear masks when in situations where they can’t socially distance.

“The mask is mandatory in public settings,” Cuomo said, such as on public transit, in an Uber, or anytime in public within 6 feet of another person. Not wearing one, he said, “is not just a nice thing to do.”

LANDSCAPING, HORTICULTURE “ESSENTIAL”

New York put the landscaping and horticulture businesses on the “essential” list this week for all safe activities.

The state decision makes official what seems widely in practice already.

These businesses are considered low-risk to spread the coronavirus, the state said. Businesses still must create a plan to reopen safely using guidance from the Non-Food Related Agriculture Summary Guidelines to protect public health.

The state expanded the allowable activities for landscapers to include the care and planting of grasses, sod, plants, shrubs and trees and the mulching, trimming and removal of these items. Horticulture — which includes greenhouse operations, nurseries, sod farms and arborists — is also allowed.

NEW YORK NUMBERS

Another 109 people died from the coronavirus in the past day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, bringing the total number of reported deaths to 23,192.

Of the 109 deaths, 27 of those people died in nursing homes, Cuomo said today.

“This number has been stubborn on its way down,” Cuomo said of the steady number of deaths each day in the state.

This week, the daily death toll hovered just above 100. The average over the past five days was 107 deaths every 24 hours.

A month ago, the state was reporting 472 deaths in a day. The high came on April 14, when 800 deaths were reported.

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