Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and health officials are encouraging everyone to wear cloth masks when outside their homes.

In order to protect themselves from the coronavirus, everyone should wear a cloth face mask when leaving their homes, including essential workers in retail, service and other industries.

However, wearing a mask is not a substitute for social distancing, and people should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and face while taking the mask off, and should immediately wash their hands.

A cloth mask can be made from ordinary household items. I made a mask out of paper towels and old t-shirts, and rubber bands or hair ties.

It is important that surgical mask are reserved for healthcare, public health workers, and first responders.

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