US cases surpass 200K, Florida, CDC guidance on face masks

Florida announced Wednesday that it will issue a stay-at-home order, the U.S. coronavirus death toll surpassed 4,500 as more than 200,000 cases have been reported, and public health officials were considering recommending that more Americans wear face masks to combat the pandemic that has brought the global economy to its knees.

“Even if you do wear a mask, it can’t be at the expense of social distancing,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams said. He added that higher-level N95 masks would not be necessary – and could come at the expense of health care workers who need them. 

The current U.S. death toll appears to be a tiny fraction of what the nation faces over the next few weeks, public health officials say. Almost 2,000 have already died in New York state alone, prompting New York City to close its parks and open temporary hospitals in a convention center and iconic Central Park.

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