Mask confusion? Many wear masks over mouth only

Is it mask confusion? Mask exhaustion? Whatever the reason, you might have noticed that many people are wearing their masks and facial coverings beneath their noses, covering only their mouths.

Posted: Oct 7, 2020 5:20 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2020 3:05 PM

Is it mask confusion? Mask exhaustion? Whatever the reason, you might have noticed that many people are wearing their masks and facial coverings beneath their noses, covering only their mouths.

"Yeah, we've seen that type of complaint and information about mask wearing and usage probably since this started back in the spring," says Director of Public Health for Oneida County, Phyllis Ellis.

To stop the coronavirus from spreading, New York State, in July, amended public health law to require masks or face covering to be worn in public, by anyone over age 2, able to medically tolerate them, and that they be worn when not social distancing. Oneida County did it two months before the state, in May.

County health officials say it only works if everyone does it; if only your mouth is covered, people who come in close contact with you aren't half protected.

"You're not protected at all. You have to have both your nose and your mouth covered, because your secretions are coming out of both at the same time," says Ellis.

Some stores have put out signs, telling customers that masks or facial coverings must cover their nose and mouth. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, says if you don't do it because of the coronavirus, do it out of common courtesy.

"This is what we said all about these things from the very beginning. If you don't worry about yourself, at least have respect for other people and do what's right," said Picente.

Below is information on proper mask-wearing from the state department of health: 

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1949964

Reported Deaths: 51036
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings2574879838
Queens2571609467
Suffolk1894243294
Nassau1737723087
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New York1290134276
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Putnam996991
Chautauqua8149131
Chemung7001133
Oswego682590
Ontario665891
Steuben6136141
St. Lawrence608794
Sullivan590968
Cayuga575590
Jefferson536263
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Genesee4965121
Herkimer4842107
Clinton441731
Madison421885
Tompkins398849
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Livingston390258
Columbia377999
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Tioga328558
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Washington278955
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