N95 masks are expected to start hitting store shelves in late January – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Soon, N95 masks will be available in stores across town.

It is all part of President Joe Biden’s plan to distribute 400 million free masks to Americans as the country is facing a record increase in the number of COVID-19 cases provided by the Omicron variant. The masks are being supplied from the country’s strategic stockpile.

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In Bethel Park, Spartan Pharmacy is one of the locations that will soon receive free N95 masks from the federal government.

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“We get calls every day asking for N95 masks,” said Spartan Pharmacy Manager Matt Triebsch.

That’s why Triebsch says getting a fresh stockpile of N95 masks isn’t coming anytime soon.

“We had some in stock about two or three weeks ago and now those are out of stock, they’re just back-ordered,” he said.

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Triebsch said he expects to see the masks launch by the end of the month.

“They come directly from Amerisource, our distribution center,” says Triebsch. “They’re coming directly from our warehouse to the public.”

However, he said they are considered government property until they are delivered. So how can customers get them when they walk in?

“They would come to our register… and say they were looking for masks and put out three per person,” said Triebsch.

The White House said each person will be limited to three masks.

In addition to smaller pharmacies, big-name chains like Walmart and CVS will also offer free face coverings. The masks will be available over the next several weeks at select stores and in select wholesale clubs for people to pick up, a Walmart spokesperson said. CVS said it also hopes to see masks arrive at some of its locations in the coming weeks, but has not said how it will distribute them.

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Meanwhile, Walgreens will also be distributing N95 masks in various sizes at some locations, but it’s not yet clear which type. A spokeswoman said the pharmacy chain expects stores to first begin stocking them on Friday and will continue to do so on a rolling basis thereafter. Walgreens also said it will have signs to let people know if masks are available in a particular location. N95 masks are expected to start hitting store shelves in late January – CBS Pittsburgh


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