The Maryland Department of Health will be distributing 20 million N95 and KN95 masks next week at no cost

Kaleah Mcilwain

On Thursday, Governor Larry Hogan announced that the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) will be distributing 20 million N95 and KN95 masks to Marylanders at no cost.

The masks will be distributed through multiple local and state-run facilities like local health departments, nursing homes, and state-run testing and vaccination sites.

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"We are encouraging all Marylanders to continue doing the things that can keep us safe: getting vaccinated and boosted, avoiding crowds, keeping your distance, washing your hands, and wearing masks or face coverings when appropriate," said Governor Hogan in a news release.

Places residents can check to receive free N95 and KN95 masks are:

  • Local health departments
  • All state-run testing and vaccination sites
  • The Vaccine Equity Task Force, through partnerships with community organizations such as the NAACP
  • Nursing homes
  • Maryland state agencies

According to data from Carnegie Mellon University, Maryland ranks fifth in the nation for mask wearing.

Masks are designed to contain your respiratory droplets and particles while also providing some protection from particles expelled by others according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

N95 and KN95 masks provide additional infection protection compared to cloth and general use face masks. N95 masks are approved by the CDC to filter 95% of the particles in the air when approved by NOISH. If looking to acquire KN95 masks on your own, CDC warns to beware of counterfeit masks that make up about 60% of the KN95 masks in the United States which do not meet NOISH requirements.

Other masks that also provide protection against infection are disposable and cloth masks as long as they meet standards and are worn properly.

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Journalist with a background reporting on local communities, now living in and reporting on the Baltimore area. Find me on twitter!

Baltimore, MD
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