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Coronavirus Update: Littering Concerns On The Rise As People Discard Used Gloves, Masks In The Streets

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- People are tossing their gloves and masks wherever they want, and it's a mess that's causing concern.

As the coronavirus races across the tri-state, gloves are giving a little extra peace of mind to those who have to run out.

"We only come out when necessary. We needed food, so we're in and out," one woman said.

But as you load bags of food into your car, you can't help but notice all the dirty, disposable gloves carelessly tossed to the ground in grocery store parking lots and left behind in shopping carts.

"It's nasty," one man said.


The problem is noticeable all over New Jersey, and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran warned about the mess of medical waste on Long Island.

"It's unnerving. It's scary. It's litter, and think, it gets into the waterways. It just gums up our storm waterworks," she said.

It's even ending up on beaches and near sewer drains.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also sounded the alarm on the latex litter, saying it's not only disgusting, it's dangerous.

"We don't like littering to begin with, but we especially don't like littering when there could be a deadly virus on these gloves or masks," he said.

The shoppers back in New Jersey has the right idea about what to do with their gloves.

"We sanitize them first before we touch them and then we discard them at home," the woman said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

And by the way, there is a right way to take off those gloves. Kristen Ryan, an EMT with the Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad, showed CBS2's Jessica Layton.

Tossing the gloves in a garbage can where they belong is quite possibly one of the simplest things we can do to avoid more contamination and help keep others safe.

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