Who was that masked man – or woman? In Morristown it can be anyone who heeds the advice of Mayor Tim Dougherty.
The mayor is recommending that all who venture outside wear protective masks to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Dougherty said he made the recommendation shortly before noon today on the strength of new information coming from the state and the federal Centers for Disease Control.
The mayor said the public should not buy masks that are made specifically for medical personnel. Instead, he said people can improvise by using a scarf or a bandana to cover their face.
“We are all in this together. We must be smart, safe and diligent,” Dougherty said, adding that the mask recommendation does not supersede state and town edicts for people to stay at home.
That certainly appears to be the case in normally bustling Morristown; many restaurants are closed and the streets quite empty.
Morristown has 95 cases of the virus as of today, April 3, the mayor said.
The wearing of masks has been a frequent topic of discussion at the governor’s daily briefings on the pandemic. On Thursday, Judith Persichilli, the state’s health commissioner, said that generally speaking, masks do not prevent a person from getting the virus. But they can help someone who may be asymptomatic from spreading the disease to others.
Since the mayor’s recommendation is just that, there would not appear to be any penalties for non-compliance – other than perhaps, public condemnation.