Cloth masks in public now recommended; US death toll passes 7,100; nation lost 701K jobs in March
Health authorities changed their position Friday on the widespread use of non-medical masks and federal emergency workers say they are working around-the-clock to meet demand for medical supplies in an increasingly deadly COVID-19 outbreak in New York.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends the general public wear non-medical, cloth masks in public places to help blunt the spread of the virus. The move comes after new research highlights a significant number of people who are not showing symptoms may still have the virus – and are spreading it.
“So it’s voluntary, you don’t have to do it,” President Donald Trump said of the recommendation for wearing masks. “I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.”
Also Friday, a record streak of job growth in the United States ended as the Labor Department said over 700,000 jobs were lost in March, showing the widespread economic impacts of the growing coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. has now surpassed 7,100 deaths, with more than 1,100 on Friday alone. The nation’s daily death toll is predicted to steadily rise until the virus peaks, roughly two weeks from now.
There were more than 275,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. by 8 p.m. ET Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. Worldwide, the death toll topped 58,000 with nearly 1.1 million confirmed cases.