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Here’s where to find free N95 masks in Berks

When it comes to using a mask to protect yourself and others from COVID, N95 is the best bet.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidance to say that N95 masks offer better protection than the cloth versions that many people have been wearing.

But throughout the pandemic, the heavy duty N95s have been pretty scarce. At times, they’ve been next to possible to find.

The Biden administration has taken steps to fix that.

They’ve announced that the federal government will begin distributing 400 million free N95 masks this week through thousands of pharmacies and community health centers in an effort to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The masks are coming from the Strategic National Stockpile. While the program will start this week, it isn’t expected to be fully rolled out until sometime in February.

The federal government’s distribution of free N95 masks is meant to address the difficulty some people have had finding the mask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends wearing. (AP PHOTO/FERNANDO LLANO)

Why N95?

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

The CDC updated its guidance on masks this month, now saying that N95 and KN95 masks offer the best protection against COVID. However, the agency is still not recommending one kind of mask over another.

“To protect yourself and others from COVID, CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently,” according to the agency’s website.

Where to get them

The Biden administration plans to rely on the same federal programs used to distribute vaccines to pharmacies and community centers. That means people will be able to go to many of the same locations they received vaccinations to get their free masks.

And in Berks County that list includes:

  • Berks Community Health Center
  • CVS
  • The Medicine Shoppe
  • Giant Food Stores
  • Rite Aid
  • Weis Markets
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart

Source: Berkshire mont

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