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Wadena County Public Health to offer free N95 masks

Minnesota distributing 2 million KN95 masks

Public Health-Mask for Distribution.png
N95 masks are now available free of charge at Wadena County Public Health on a first come, first serve basis.
Contributed photo
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WADENA — Wadena County Public Health will distribute N95 masks provided through the State of Minnesota mask distribution program announced last week on a first-come/first service basis.
These masks are being distributed to area residents to increase access to quality masks, according to a Public Health news release.
Stop by Wadena County Public Health (22 Dayton Ave SE, Wadena) beginning February 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. or call 218-631-7629 if you have further questions.
The state of Minnesota is distributing 2.1 million KN95 masks to schools, public health agencies and other groups with the aim of ensuring access to high-quality masks, the office of Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday, Jan. 27.

Public Health-Mask for Distribution.png
N95 masks are now available free of charge at Wadena County Public Health on a first come, first serve basis.
Contributed photo

Of the millions of masks, 650,000 will go to public health agencies; 550,000 to schools; and the rest to clinics, child care centers, health department COVID-19 community coordinators and tribal nations, according to the announcement.

Minnesota Department of Health spokesman Doug Schultz said the masks come from a large personal protective equipment stockpile the state established during the pandemic. Minnesota acquired the masks from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at no cost and purchased others with state and federal emergency funds, Schultz said.

Public health agencies recommend N95 or KN95 masks over standard cloth masks as protection against the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19.

“Throughout the pandemic we have built a strong partnership with schools, local public health agencies, community groups, and others to make sure Minnesotans can access the tools they need to safely navigate COVID-19," Walz said in a statement. "That includes KN95 masks, which are especially important as we confront the highly contagious omicron variant.

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"Studies constantly show that high-quality masks like KN95s better protect wearers from COVID-19 and help slow the spread of the virus. As we navigate the difficult weeks ahead, make sure you mask up in public to protect yourself, your family, and your community.”

Minnesota is distributing masks as the federal government begins its own distribution of 400 million masks to pharmacies and community health centers across the country.

In addition to masking, officials continue to urge testing and vaccination to prevent the spread and serious illness from COVID-19. More information on testing can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health website. The state also provides a vaccine locator map for finding nearby providers offering the shot.

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