Robberies by suspects wearing medical masks reported in multiple states

Robberies by suspects wearing medical masks reported in multiple states
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A string of robberies that have featured suspects wearing medical masks have taken place across the country in recent weeks, though all seem to be unrelated.

The Atlanta suburb of Smyrna has been plagued by a serial bank robber who robbed two banks there late last month. The man wore a medical mask both times.

Last Saturday, two gunmen wearing masks jumped a group of workers transporting $200,000 in cash at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York.

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On Wednesday, a man in Boston robbed a bank while wearing a surgical mask, and on Friday, the same thing happened in New Jersey.

This isn't the first time surgical masks have been used in robberies; in the fall there was a series of five robberies in Austin, Texas featuring a suspect who wore a medical mask. 

The masks, used widely by doctors and medical professionals, have become commonplace in public due to the spread of the coronavirus throughout the U.S. Despite through the roof demand for the masks, Surgeon General Jerome Adams urged Americans at the beginning of the month to stop buying them, saying that they are, in fact, ineffective in stopping the spread of coronavirus.

"If healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!” Adams said in a tweet.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend that healthy people wear medical masks to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including coronavirus. The agency says that people who show COVID-19 symptoms should wear masks to help prevent the spread of the disease, but added that medical masks are "crucial" for healthcare workers and people who are taking care of someone at home or in a healthcare facility.