SEATTLE — The first free N95 masks provided by the federal government will soon arrive in Washington.
On Thursday, the Washington State Department of Health said the masks should start arriving “in the coming days.”
Some local stores could get the masks as early as Friday, but it is not known when they will be ready to distribute them.
Though WDOH said a list of participating pharmacies was not yet available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a long list of pharmacies that are taking part in the program, including CVS, Albertsons, Bartell Drugs, Costco, CVS, Fred Meyer, Rite Aid, Safeway, Walgreens, Walmart and others.
The Biden administration announced last week that 400 million N95 masks would be distributed to pharmacies and community health centers, with the program expected to be fully up and running by early February.
The administration is expanding access to high-quality masks amid the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant. Experts say N95 masks work better against the variant than cloth masks.
Washington state health officials said that the state planned to dole out roughly 10 million masks and some will soon be sent to local emergency management officials and K-12 schools.
The Biden administration has promised that up to three free masks should be available to every person in the U.S.
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