Free N95 masks

LTS3

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Starting Jan. 28 the US will be giving out free N95 masks to the public through pharmacies, grocery stores, and community health places. Every person is allowed 3 masks. No idea what sizes, if any, will be available. A large size mask is completely ineffective to a person who has a small face. There are no "one size fits all" N95 masks.


Obviously 3 masks aren't going to last very long. One can buy N95 masks more easily these days than at the start of the pandemic. Just watch out for fakes. An article with tips on how to buy a real N95 or KN95 or KF94: Ready for an N95? Here's how to find a high-quality one that fits you well
 

susanm9006

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Thanks. I am sort of torn as to whether I want to get the masks. After a year and a half of them I am particular about fit and design and I think might leave the free ones to others. I do use paper masks and will probably continue to double them.
 

neely

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It's my understanding not every CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Meijer, etc. store will have the N95 masks. Does anyone know if there is more information on the available locations?
 

debbila

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Thanks. I am sort of torn as to whether I want to get the masks. After a year and a half of them I am particular about fit and design and I think might leave the free ones to others. I do use paper masks and will probably continue to double them.
The paper masks aren't effective. They have a gap on each side so not form fitting. That's why the N95 masks were made.
 
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LTS3

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The paper masks aren't effective. They have a gap on each side so not form fitting. That's why the N95 masks were made.
:yeah:

N95s have to fit snugly against the face to keep viruses and germs out. Cloth masks, non medical surgical-type masks, etc fit too loosely to keep anything out.


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It's my understanding not every CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Meijer, etc. store will have the N95 masks. Does anyone know if there is more information on the available locations?

Probably best to check with your local health department and the US government web site for more info on exact locations. Or call around to local stores and ask.
 

MoochNNoodles

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It's my understanding not every CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Meijer, etc. store will have the N95 masks. Does anyone know if there is more information on the available locations?
I noticed a social media post from our State's DHHS on some of these things so you could try their social media accounts. You should be able to look even if you don't use social media.
 

misty8723

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I got some NIOSH Approved N95 Masks from Well Before. They are actually pretty comfortable. You can use them more than once, according to information hubby found, and leaving them in the sun helps kill any germs that might be on them.

N95 Masks and Respirators
 

fionasmom

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12 Signs You Have a Fake N95, KN95, or KF94 Mask

I have read in more than one place that N95 masks never have ear loops. Consumer Labs published this a while back as well. I mention this only because I know a few people who have proudly told me that they were able to get true N95 masks with earloops. When we all thought that the pandemic was winding down, I was able to get a supply of the correct kind with the headbands. I took a couple and cut the headbands and retied them to make ear loops. Ironically, they fit even tighter that way, not entirely comfortably, but still very tight. I don't know if I will attempt to get any at a pharmacy or not.
 

denice

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The ties are part of getting the sealed fit. I got some KN-95 masks when the Delta variant started. They have the ear loops but the main difference is they aren't inspected the way true N95 masks are, so you have to be careful with what you buy. Some of the KN-95 masks are actually good enough that people working on COVID wards at the beginning when PPE was in short supply used them.
 
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LTS3

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The ties are part of getting the sealed fit.
:yeah:

I have these: https://shop.projectn95.org/aci-surgical-n95-respirators-3120-box-of-50-/p Instead of rubber ties which can tug at the hair and generally be uncomfortable, these have gauze-like ties which are soft and stretchy yet holds the mask firmly to the face.

Ideally one should be properly fitted for a N95 mask. There's a whole process to ensure that the mask fits correctly. At a previous job, one test involved wearing a giant bag thing over your head and you read a paragraph aloud while a bitter smelling and tasting non toxic substance is pumped in. If you can smell and taste the substance, the mask is not on properly. If adjusting the mask on the face doesn't help, a different type of mask has to be tried. One should not be able to smell or taste the bitter substance with a properly fitted mask.
 
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LTS3

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CVS.com has a notice that the free N95 masks are now available but availability and store location varies. So you'll have to call a store to see if they have the free masks available.
 
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