RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Since the start of the pandemic, N95 face coverings have been known to better protect against COVID-19 infection. Concerns over the transmissibility of the omicron variant have prompted health experts to encourage the wearing of N95 and KN95 masks.

Wake County Health and Human Services is offering N95 masks to the public for free at five locations. Residents will need to ask about the masks at the information desk of the building they are visiting.

Anyone with an appointment for a COVID-19 test or vaccine, could pick up a mask at those county sites as well.

The county said the masks have five layers of protective material providing more protection than cloth or surgical masks. They can be worn for five days in a row. The N95 masks should be thrown away as soon as they get dirty, wet or were directly exposed to COVID-19.

Masks can be picked up Monday through Friday at the following location while supplies last:

  • Wake County Western Health & Human Services Center
    111 James Jackson Ave., Cary, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Wake County Northern Regional Center
    350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest, 8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
  • Wake County Eastern Regional Center
    1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon, 8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
  • Wake County Southern Regional Center
    130 N. Judd Parkway NE, Fuquay-Varina, 8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
  • Wake County Human Services Center (vaccine clinic location)
    5809 Departure Drive, Raleigh, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Health and Human Services building on Swinburne/Kidd Road has been removed from the list of distribution sites.

In addition to the Wake County sites listed above, the county and the Town of Morrisville have teamed up to distribute N95 masks to the community beginning on Thursday.

The masks will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and each person can only get one mask per family member in their home. There is a limit of six masks.

Masks will be distributed only during the following times:

• Thursday, January 27: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Friday, January 28: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturday, January 29: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
• Sunday, January 30: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• Monday, January 31: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
• Tuesday, February 1: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

For more information, click here.