Where To Get Free N95 Masks
For a person with lupus, it’s important to take necessary precautions to not get infected with COVID-19. One of the many ways to continue to stay safe during the pandemic is to always wear your mask, and be sure it’s worn the correct way. Studies have shown masks are effective in reducing the transmission of COVID-19 and emerging variants like Omicron. The week of January 24, the Strategic National Stockpile began distributing free N95 masks, or respirators, to communities to prevent the further spread of the virus.
Where you can get masks
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. government will distribute these masks to local pharmacies and community health centers. There is a limit of three masks per person. The brands of masks that will be distributed are 3M, Draeger, Honeywell, and Moldex.
How to wear your N95 mask (and other masks) properly
Here is some information to be aware of as you use and dispose of your masks. Before and at the end of usage, wash your hands thoroughly. Check the mask to make sure it is not damaged; if there is any sign of damage, do not use it.
- Ensure the N95 mask encloses your chin and nose in the mask. The top strap, or if you have a single strap, should rest at the top back of the head. The bottom strap should be below the ears.
- Check the seal of the respirator. After adjusting the mask and straps, place your hands around the mask. If you feel air escaping, it’s not properly sealed. Adjust the mask until there is no air escaping. If you continue to have issues, try another brand that may fit your face.
- Removing the N95 mask. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises to not touch the mask as you take it off. Pull the bottom strap, then the top strap and place it in the trash. If you have mobility issues, use disposable gloves to assist in a germ-free removal.
If you are unable, or uncomfortable, retrieving the free N95 masks continue to take necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. This includes wearing layered-masks, social distancing, self-monitoring, and staying up-to-date on vaccinations.
Our health educators are available to answer your questions and give you the help you need.Contact a Health Education Specialist