Mayor Kirk Caldwell urged all Oahu residents today to wear face masks when going outside to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’re asking all residents on this island, when you go outside, whether it is to shop, to jog, whatever it is you do, to wear a mask,” he said at a news conference this afternoon.
He said residents shouldn’t wear N95 masks, which are for first responders and in short supply, but should wear cloth masks that could be homemade or purchased.
“The point is, to wear a mask,” he said. “It doesn’t give you 100% protection. But it does protect you in two ways.”
He said there are folks who are asymptomatic who could transmit the virus without any signs of illness, and a mask could protect others from such a person. Masks also prevent people from touching their faces, he said.
“It’s a recommendation. A very, very strong recommendation,” he said. “Everyone on this island, when you go out in public, please wear a mask that you’ve either acquired or made that’s not an N95 mask or a surgical mask.”
Kuakini Medical Center emergency room doctor Darragh O’Carroll said up to 20% of those infected don’t show any symptoms so could be spreading the virus to others.
Watch Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s new conference below: