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The Biden administration will give out 400 million free N95 masks

The Biden administration announced that it is giving away 400 million free N95s.
Rogelio V. Solis
The Biden administration announced that it is giving away 400 million free N95s.

The Biden administration plans to send 400 million N95 face masks to give out free through pharmacies and community health centers, part of an effort to increase access to high-quality masks to control the spread of COVID-19.

The government will ship masks from its stockpile starting at the end of the week. Some will be available late next week, with more available in early February, the White House told reporters. The move comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance last week to emphasize N95s — and as the government starts to mail at-home test kits to Americans.

The masks will be available through pharmacies in the federal retail pharmacy program — which includes major grocery stores and retail pharmacy chains.

If you're also shopping for your own, here's how to find high-quality N95s that fit.

The federal government is also allowing people to request free at-home COVID-19 tests online, with each household eligible for four at-home tests. Click here to order — the process takes just seconds, and the tests will ship out via the U.S. Postal Service within 7 to 12 days.

This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.
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