Face Masks May Be ‘New Normal’ in Post-Virus Life

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States approached 31,000 on Wednesday as governors began cautiously preparing Americans for a post-virus life that would likely include public face coverings as the “new normal,” Reuters writes.

The governors of Connecticut, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania each issued orders or recommendations that residents wear face masks as they emerge from isolation in the coming weeks.

“If you are going to be in public and you cannot maintain social distancing, then have a mask, and put that mask on,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

Similar orders were imposed in New Jersey and Los Angeles last week and face coverings were recommended by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on Tuesday.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has said residents across the nation’s most-populous state would likely be wearing masks in public for some time to come.

“We are going to be getting back to normal; it will be a new normal,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said, echoing a phrase used by at least two of his fellow governors in recent days.

U.S. Midwest governors were also making plans together to restart their economies, said Jordan Abudayyeh, a spokeswoman for Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.

In Michigan, hundreds of cars flooded the streets around the state Capitol in Lansing on Wednesday to protest Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders, some of the strictest in the country, Reuters adds.

Some protesters, in the demonstration organized by conservative and pro-President Donald Trump groups, left their cars to gather on the lawn in front of the Capitol building, many of them not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

As of Wednesday night, 30,885 people in the United States had died of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, according to a Reuters tally.

That includes more than 4,000 deaths newly attributed to the disease in New York City after health officials revised their counting methods to include “probable,” but unconfirmed, cases.

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