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Free N95 Masks in Florida: What You Need to Know

State officials in Florida have announced that they will distribute free N95 masks to residents as the state braces itself for an upcoming flu season, which could be severe because of the widespread outbreak of a new Covid-19 strain. While we are not entirely sure that the pandemic will reach considerable heights, it’s never too early to protect yourself and your family against this highly contagious virus.

People who live in Florida may be in luck if they want to get their hands on one of the most effective ways to avoid getting sick during this season; an N95 mask. These masks, which are essentially masks that fit over your nose and mouth and allow you to breathe freely while preventing the spread of germs around you, have been proven to help prevent the flu from spreading from person to person. Below is everything you need to know about free N95 masks in FL.

What are N95 Masks?

An N95 mask is a disposable face mask that protects against 95% airborne particles in a 1-micron size range. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says N95s offer the highest form of protection against Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses. The CDC also recommends using an N95 mask during flu season, especially if you are around anyone who has a respiratory illness. If you don’t want to get a shot but still want to protect yourself against flu viruses, there are other ways to safeguard your health.

How are the Free N95 Masks Being Distributed?

The Biden administration will be distributing 400 million N95 masks for United States residents. These masks will be given away for free in response to concerns about a flu outbreak. The 400 million will cover at least one-third of America’s population. It’s part of a national initiative designed to increase flu protection in children and adults throughout all 50 states. This means millions of free N95 masks will be available across Florida from this month until the supply runoff or further notice.

This campaign is being funded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Preparedness & Response (HPPR) as part of a larger effort to make 800 million masks available nationwide through private sector partners such as Walgreens.

Interested in learning about becoming a resident in Florida or moving there? Read more.

Mother and child wear facemask during coronavirus and flu outbreak

Top Places to Get a Free N95 Mask in FL

The masks are free and available from federal and state health agencies, retailers, pharmacies, community centers, and health care providers until supplies run out. Below are the most popular places where you won’t miss a free N95 mask:

  • Walgreens - You can get your free N95 mask by visiting any Walgreens in Florida. The selected Walgreens locations started distributing these masks on Friday, January 18, 2022. Walgreens' statement on free N95s states that they'll continue delivering the protective supplies in the following days, weeks, or months on a rolling basis. The company picked various stores that will offer free masks across the Sunshine State; you can find your specific location here.

  • Walmart, Inc. - Walmart Inc. announced that it would give away N95 masks for free at select locations across all the states. The giveaway includes including Walmart and Sam’s Club. If you are a Florida resident, you can stop by a local Walmart Inc. location in Florida and pick up a free N95 mask. Bring your ID (such as your driver’s license) for proof of residence. Supplies are limited—so you’ll need to act fast.

  • CVS Pharmacy Stores - CVS Pharmacy Stores are also giving away free N95 masks across the country. They began the distribution on Thursday, January 27, 2022. If you live in Florida, be sure you stop by a CVS location near you. You don't need a prescription or insurance information; stop by your local store and ask for a free mask.

  • Publix Supermarkets - The Florida Department of Health has announced that Publix Supermarkets will be distributing free N95 masks supplies to its customers in certain locations across Florida. However, the supermarket is still waiting for further information, supplies, and distribution schedule. So, the masks will be available soon throughout the select Publix Supermarket locations in FL.

  • Southeastern Grocers - Director of Public Relations & Community Meredith Hurley said that Southeastern Grocers would continue to operate closely with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to distribute the free N95 masks. Soon you'll be able to get your hands on a free N95s from your nearest Southeastern Grocers in Florida.

How Many Free N95 Masks Can You Get?

Unfortunately, you can't hoard masks for your family, friends, and neighbors. Florida residents can receive up to 3 N95s per person, and they can be picked up at a local county health department or any selected locations around the state. The masks come in child and adult sizes. The stock is limited, but you can pick your three protective supplies while the stock lasts.

Each person must go in person to a county health department office to get their masks. Even if you’re feeling fine, it doesn’t hurt to get your mask – there may be people around you who are coming down with symptoms.

When to Pick Your Free N95 Masks in FL

Anyone living in a Florida county with a high level of flu activity is eligible for a free N95 mask from their local health department and selected locations. To find out if your county qualifies, call your local health department. If it's eligible for free masks, you can go to your nearby free N95 distributor during operating hours. Some counties will also have various events on Saturdays and Sundays where residents can pick up masks at set times.

Note: Some counties may have given out their supplies and are currently waiting for new shipments, but check with your local distributor before heading over.

Bottom Line

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the entire world, and new strains keep on emerging worldwide, even in our great state of Florida. This means that now is the perfect time to stock up on N95 masks to protect you from contracting the flu or spreading it to others around you.

Though it may seem like an insignificant piece of equipment, this simple mask can significantly reduce your chances of catching the flu or passing it on to someone else. It's never too late to protect you and your loved ones from this contagious flu. Get yourself a free N95 mask (s) to stay safe and healthy in the Sunshine State during this flu season.

Interested in what's required for moving to Florida? Read here.

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