The Biden administration is expected to give US citizens 400 million N95 masks free of charge starting next week, and several pharmacies and community health centers announced their participation in the program.
Chicago-area pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Walmart said they will work with the federal government to distribute free N95 masks, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend for the highest level of protection against COVID-19.
Here’s a list of where you can find a free N95 mask, according to the CDC:
- Albertsons Companies (including Osco, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Star Market, Shaw’s, Haggen, Acme, Randalls, Carrs, Market Street, United, Vons, Pavilions, Amigos, Lucky’s, Pak n Save, Save)
- CPESN USA
- Good Neighbor Pharmacy and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporations Pharmacy Services Administrative Organization (PSAO), Elevate Provider Network
- Health Mart pharmacies
- LeaderNET and The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, Cardinal Health’s PSAOs
- The Kroger Co. (includes Kroger, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Ralphs, King Soopers, Smiths, City Market, Dillons, Mariano’s, Pick-n-Save, Copps, Metro Market, QFC)
- Walmart (including Sam’s Club)
To find a health center near you, click here. Click here for a complete list of pharmacies and retailers participating in the program in the United States.
Several locations will begin providing the masks next week, White House officials said, although the program is expected to be fully operational by early February. Officials recommend calling locations to ensure there are enough masks in stock.
Each resident will be limited to three masks per person to ensure broad access to the program, a White House official said.
The masks will come from the government’s Strategic National Stockpile, which stocks more than 750 million of the high-protection masks, according to a White House statement.
The Biden administration will begin giving Americans 400 million N-95 masks for free starting next week.
The news comes after the CDC recommended that residents wear properly fitting N95 and KN95 masks, as these covers have been shown to be more effective at protecting individuals from the Omicron variant of the virus.
According to official information, cloth masks can still be worn.