Released: 5/27/2020 9:39:35 AM
BUFFALO, N.Y. — As reopening efforts move forward, Governor Andrew Cuomo wants New Yorkers to continue to "be smart."
In a daily coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, Cuomo said, "This whole trajectory is decided by people." He added that it is our responsibility to one another to wash our hands, social distance, to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask.
Local medical experts say all of those infection prevention methods combined contribute to slowing the spread, with masking being one important part of the equation.
"The mask is meant to be providing source control so that it's containing any type of secretions that could be spread by sneezing or coughing or just even in general speaking if someone is close to you," said Jillianna Wasiura, RN, BSN, an infection control coordinator at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Kenneth Snyder, MD, PhD, the vice president of physician quality for Kaleida Health said, "If I'm wearing my mask out in public, I'm wearing it protect you from me. What we've learned about this virus is that many people without symptoms can actually spread it. So the reason that masks are very important is that someone without a fever or without symptoms might be spreading that virus."
Snyder explained masking, as a part of a multi-pronged strategy, will be imperative as we move through the phases of reopening.
"When it is very difficult to space people out, that's where the masks become critical," he said.
As for how long masking will a part of our daily life, Wasiura told 2 On Your Side, at this point, it's hard to predict.
"I wish I had that magic ball to read into and say what is and what isn't appropriate but I think we have to be flexible with what comes down and as we learn more about the virus," she said. "As more data becomes available, we'll be to make those decisions."
Snyder said, "We are doing it as our part of community in helping to minimize the spread of this virus. When the community understands the 'why,' they will make the right decisions."