Federal government set to distribute free N95 masks

By Andrea Kelley
Courtesy The Journal

WASHINGTON — The federal government launched a program in mid-January to distribute free N95 masks across the U.S. to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study about the effectiveness of different types of face masks in reducing the spread of the virus and found N95s were among the most effective.

The study looked at the mask habits of 1,528 people who tested positive for COVID-19 between Feb. 18-Dec. 1, 2021, and 1,511 people who did not have the virus as a control.

Masks were separated into three categories: cloth, surgical and respirator, which includes both N95 and KN95 masks.

The study found consistently wearing respirators reduced a person’s chance of getting COVID-19 by 83 percent. Surgical masks reduce the risk of infection by 66 percent, and cloth masks brought up the rear with


56 percent.

The government pledged to send out 400 million free N95 masks for residents, which White House spokesman Jeff Zients said was “the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history.”

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