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How to Get Free COVID Tests, N95 Masks

There’s a new federal resource to get free FDA-authorized coronavirus test kits. At COVIDtests.gov, you’ll find information about testing and a link to the U.S. Postal Service—special.usps.com/testkits—where you can order up to four rapid tests to be sent to your home address. You may also order kits by calling 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489). Your kits will be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service within seven to 12 days.

The tests are completely free. There are no shipping costs, and you don’t have to give a credit card or a bank account number. You only need to give a name and address. If you live in a multi-unit building, please be sure to specify your unit number. Once you place an order, you’ll get an order confirmation number. If you give your email address, you’ll also get an order confirmation email and delivery updates. Anyone who asks for more information than that is a scammer. If you spot a scammer offering COVID test kits, tell the FTC about it right away at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Or, file a complaint with your state or territory attorney general at consumerresources.org, the consumer website of the National Association of Attorneys General.

Free N95 Masks

The Biden administration plans to distribute 400 million high-quality N95 masks for adults free of charge. The N95 masks will come from the government’s Strategic National Stockpile. Most of the retailers that joined the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination are planning to join the distribution of the free N95 masks, including CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Rite Aid,Costco, Walmart and Sam’s Club. 

N95 masks, also known as N95 respirators, are considered the best face masks you can get to help protect against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, explains Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York. These masks filter out at least 95% of aerosols, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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