Photo by Ashkan Forouzani
Only nearly a week after the Biden administration announced their distribution of 400 million free N95 facemasks to the public, N95 masks have begun arriving at pharmacies and supermarkets across America.
“Every person is allowed up to 3 free masks pending availability,” said the Department of Health and Human Services.
The U.S government announced its newest measures to combat COVID-19 following the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention’s recommendation. The CDC has recommended that people wear N95 masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The new advice follows an update that suggests cloth masks are ineffective in inhibiting its increased propagation.
The Strategic National Stockpile is a lifesaving program that will provide high-quality N95 masks. There are over 750 million of these face coverings ready for use, and SNS plans on scaling up in order to meet demand by early February. In addition, they’re dispensing free supplies at community health centers all across America.
American supercenter chain Meijer, which manages over 250 pharmacies and supermarkets all around this area of America, announced Monday that 3 million masks had been received by their shops.
“The N95 masks will be in boxes set on a table near the Meijer Greeter stand of the grocery entrance,” said the supermarket chain. “The Greeter, who will be wearing gloves, will place the N95 masks in piles of three for the customers to take.”
Kroger is distributing free masks throughout the Midwest and Southwest through pharmacies operated by them. The first allocation of these free protective devices will likely arrive on Thursday, said Kristal Howard from Corporate Communications & Media Relations at Kroger Company.
Walgreens is taking part in the distribution program too. On Tuesday, Scott Balgreen, Global Corporate Communications head at Walgreen, revealed that they are giving away free masks while supplies last.
“We expect the first stores to begin offering masks on Friday, Jan. 28 and will continue on a rolling basis in the days and weeks following,” said Goldberg, indicating the number of masks made available per person, which is three pieces. “Participating stores will have signage indicating mask availability.”
Matt Blanchette, a spokesperson for CVS Pharmacy, said that they are similarly providing free N95 masks in all their locations in the coming weeks.