INDIANAPOLIS — Free N95 masks are starting to become available at stores and pharmacies in Indianapolis and central Indiana.
Last week, the Biden administration announced it would make 400 million N95 masks from the government's Strategic National Stockpile available for free.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said properly fitted N95, KN95 and KF94 masks offer stronger protection than cloth masks against the COVID-19 omicron variant.
Here's how to get a free N95 mask at stores in Indianapolis and central Indiana.
A spokesperson for Walgreens said it will have three N95 masks available per customer and is expecting the masks to be available in select stores starting Friday. Participating stores will have signs out front with information on available masks.
On Wednesday, CVS released the following statement:
Through our participation in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, we’ll be offering free N95 masks provided by the Federal Government at CVS Pharmacy stores and our pharmacies inside Target and Schnucks. Inventory is expected to begin to arrive at these locations as early as Thursday, January 27 and will continue on a rolling basis as additional supply becomes available. Masks are limited to three per person, while supplies last, and signs will be posted to indicate N95 mask availability. Our distribution of these masks is an extension of our commitment to providing equitable access to the tools necessary to fight COVID-19, including testing, vaccines and authorized therapies.
On Monday, Meijer said it received an estimated 3 million N95 masks and will be giving them to customers who need them as they enter stores.
"The N95 masks will be in boxes set on a table near the Meijer Greeter stand of the grocery entrance," a press release from Meijer read. "The Greeter, who will be wearing gloves, will place the N95 masks in piles of three for the customers to take."
Walmart anticipates it will have N95 masks available at more than 5,100 Walmart and Sam's Club locations by the second week of February.
The masks will be available at the front of the stores. Each customer will be able to get three masks while supplies last.
In a press release on Tuesday, Kroger said it anticipated getting the masks on Thursday, Jan. 27. But on Wednesday, Kroger announced it is still awaiting distribution from the federal government.
“Kroger is grateful for the ongoing role we’re able to play in helping help our associates and customers protect themselves and our communities against COVID-19," a statement from Kroger on Wednesday read. "At this time we are awaiting our distribution of masks from the Strategic National Stockpile and are prepared to make them available to the public as soon as we receive them.”
Each customer will be able to get up to three masks. Customers at a Kroger store with a pharmacy should look for the branded display or ask an associate to get the masks.
WRTV has reached out to other stores. This story will be updated.