Coronavirus transmission may be primarily airborne, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. That’s not exactly breaking news, but it goes to the heart of public safety, protecting our health and plain old thoughtfulness for your fellow man.

New guidance from the CDC suggests the novel coronavirus, which is thought to have jumped from a Chinese bat to the human lung in December 2019, is spread mainly from airborne sources, including respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of nearby people, or be inhaled into their lungs.

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as grocery stores and pharmacies and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus, according to CDC, but the organization is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Which brings us to the most important point: a lot of people aren’t wearing masks in places of gathering and a lot of businesses, which post signs saying no mask, no entry, are letting people in without masks.

Conclusion: People who don’t wear masks and the businesses that enable them are not team players. And they have no consideration for our health and safety.

“If (the CDC) is right and the major transmission source is airborne, it takes you back to wear a mask,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday at his daily coronavirus briefing in his Manhattan office. “First responders have a lower infection rate than the general population. Why? Because they wear the mask and use the hand sanitizer.”

In recent days, thousands of masks have been distributed at events in Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties.

“A lot of the people are bursting for reopening and we do still have a significant part of the population that is a little nervous about coming back out into the open air and public,” City of Batavia manager Martin Moore said last Thursday at an event in which city officials and firefighters were among those disbursing the masks and sanitizer. “If this helps make them a little bit less nervous, then that’s terrific.”

In Livingston County, the Office of Emergency Management received close to 11,500 cloth masks through coordination with the federal and state governments. Members of the county’s 18 fire departments’ volunteered to assist with the distribution effort on Saturday.

“We are not financially set, so this is a great way to get what we need during the pandemic. It is hard to get it when you have so many faces to cover, we have a big family so it is not easy,” said Wanda Cruz from Mount Morris.

Firefighters said with the mask distribution they are not only giving back to their community, but they are also helping to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and helping to keep residents safe, one at a time.

We can’t emphasize strongly enough how urgent it is to practice social distancing and wear masks or facial coverings. To all the people who don’t wear masks in public places and businesses that flout their own rules, we’re calling you out.

Maybe this will help convince you: wearing a mask can mean the difference between life and death.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1