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Free N95 masks being distributed this week

Those masks are coming from the country’s strategic stockpile, and already some counties in North Carolina like Wake and Forsyth have started distributing them.
Those masks are coming from the country's strategic stockpile, and already some counties in North Carolina like Wake and Forsyth have started distributing them
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 6:24 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2022 at 7:33 AM EST

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - President Biden’s plan to distribute 400 million free N95 masks to Americans begins this week.

Those masks are coming from the country’s strategic stockpile, and already some counties in North Carolina like Wake and Forsyth have started distributing them through the health department.

Related: White House to give away 400 million N95 masks

WBTV has reached out to Mecklenburg County’s health department to find out whether the county has gotten its shipment, but hasn’t heard back yet.

Pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS will also be distributing the masks this week, but it may take until February for the entire program to be up and running.

According to the plan, each adult will get three free masks. These are the non-surgical N95 masks, which are designed to filter out 95% of particles.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on masks, saying the N95 masks offer better protection against COVID-19 over the cloth masks so many people have. Pharmacists say they’re already getting plenty of calls.

“We have a piece of paper glued to the wall back there and taking their name and phone number. As soon as we get some or we’ve been told we’re going to get them, we’ll call them and tell them they’re coming,” Barbara Dunning, owner of Guerin’s Pharmacy, said.

As to whether Americans will wear the N95 masks, that’s another matter. A survey last week from The COVID States Project found one in five Americans were wearing the higher-quality N95 masks.

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