NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On quieter New York City streets, more people out and about have their faces covered, as instructed.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention now want everyone wearing cloth face coverings in public.

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Heal medical director Dr. Sachin Nagrani explains why.

“It could be beneficial at slowing the spread of coronavirus as there are people who are asymptomatic and test positive for the virus and could be spreading the virus around,” he said.

The answer can be a bandana.

Experts caution covering your face with a piece of cloth will not adequately protect you, but it can protect more vulnerable others from you if you have COVID-19, even if you don’t know it.

“You know, I don’t think it’s protecting me from anything. I just try to keep my distance from people,” one man wearing a bandana told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.


Officials don’t want healthy people using professional grade medical masks, asking that those be left for health care workers.

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Instead, make your own, like Therese Mercurio, of City Island.

“I used an old apron. The fabric was strong enough,” she said.

She demonstrates how to cut and fold the fabric and use hair ties to secure it.

To get kids on board, doctors say don’t scare them, keep it light.

“Making it a game, making it fun is probably the best approach rather than scaring them,” Nagrani said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

Masks are the latest marching order, but doctors say don’t forget to practice your social distancing and wash your hands.

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With face coverings, it’s best to use a scarf or sturdy cloth, thicker than t-shirt material. The important thing is that it covers both your nose and your mouth.