PORTLAND, Ore. — You can now pick up free N95 masks at certain pharmacies and health centers in the Pacific Northwest and across the country.
The Biden administration announced Jan. 19 that 400 million non-surgical N95s would be made available to better protect Americans from the highly transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19.
The announcement came days after the Centers for Disease Control suggested N95s and KN95s offer better protection from omicron compared to surgical and cloth masks.
Three masks are available per person. Here are the pharmacies in Oregon and Washington where you can find free N95 masks:
- Kroger Co. (including Fred Meyer and QFC)
- Albertsons Companies, Inc (including Safeway)
- Costco Wholesale Corp.
- CVS Pharmacy, Inc
- Rite Aid Corp.
- Walmart, Inc.
Visit the CDC's website for a full list of pharmacies that have partnered with the federal government to distribute the masks. For details on health centers participating in the program, the Health Resources & Services Administration provides more information on its website.
The program is expected to be fully up and running within the coming days.
The masks come from a stockpile from the federal government. The shipment is the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history.