Free N95 masks will be distributed in Illinois next week. Here’s where to get one – NBC Chicago


As part of a nationwide initiative to combat the omicron variant, the Biden administration will make 400 million N95 masks available to US residents free of charge starting next week.

Face coverings will be allocated from the government’s strategic national stockpile, which has more than 750 million highly protective masks.

Masks will be distributed at health centers and pharmacies enrolled in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, a national program that relies on these entities to help expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Here is a list of places where you can find a free N95 mask in Illinois, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Albertsons companies (including Osco, Jewel-Osco and other subsidiaries)
  • Costco
  • CPSN United States
  • SVC
  • Good Neighbor Pharmacy and the Pharmacy Services Administrative Organization (PSAO) of AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Elevate Provider Network
  • Pharmacies Health Mart
  • Hy Vee
  • LeaderNET and The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, PSAO of Cardinal Health
  • Meijer
  • The Kroger Co. (including Kroger, Mariano’s, Pick-n-Save and other company brands)
  • Piggy Wiggly
  • Schnucks
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart (including Sam’s Club)

To find a health center near you, click on here. A complete list of participating pharmacies and retailers is available here.

Several stores will begin supplying masks next week, White House officials say, but the program isn’t expected to be fully operational until early February. Officials recommend calling locations to ensure there are enough masks in stock.

Each resident will be limited to three masks per person to ensure broad access to the program, a White House official said.

The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N-95 masks available to Americans for free starting next week.

Last week, the CDC updated its face covering guidelines to more clearly state that properly fitted N95 and KN95 masks offer the best protection against COVID-19. Still, he did not formally recommend N95s over cloth masks.


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