The CDC recommends N95 masks, but where can you get them?

Credit: Shutterstock

SPOKANE, Wash. — The CDC announced that regular masks do not work like they used to.

They now recommend N95, KN95, and KF94 masks, as they are much more useful in preventing COVID-19 compared to cloth and surgical masks. They say cloth masks do not filter out particles, and surgical masks should be your second option.

The recommended masks block out 95 percent of particles but have become scarce for even healthcare workers. But with Biden’s plan of providing 400 million N95 masks to the public, you may be able to get these masks for free as soon as Monday.

Pharmacies at Safeway, CVS, Walgreens, and others should receive the new masks on Monday or after. While these pharmacies are giving the masks out for free, they will have a very limited supply and will likely run on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The masks could run out as soon as at-home tests did for the Washington Department of Health’s program, possibly right after they become available.

RELATED: Washington State Department of Health runs out of at-home COVID tests

If pharmacies do run out, look online. While they may not be free, but it’s still better than wearing a cloth mask, or no mask at all. Federal masks are not available online, so make sure to only purchase from verified vendors.

Most N95 masks online cost around $20 to $40 and the CDC reported sales of fake KN95 and KF94 masks that do not have proper filters. Check your local pharmacy to see if they actually have run out, and if they do, be wary before you buy online.

READ: New video game simulates COVID-19 in a workplace environment

READ: Spokane principal who protested mask mandate resigns