The Biden administration will give out 400 million free N95 masks

By Rachel Treisman NPR

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 send at-home test kits to Americans by mail.

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 offering 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 7-12 days.

This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

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