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Local pharmacies having trouble stocking government-funded N95 masks

Posted at 6:12 AM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 06:40:19-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Starting this week, pharmacies will have free N95 masks- at least, they're meant to.

This is part of a White House plan to send out millions of masks. The White House said the masks would come from the government’s strategic national stockpile, which has more than 750 million masks on hand.

But we checked in with a few pharmacies in our area and they say they are out.

One Walgreens had a sign that read, "Government-provided masks are not available yet. Please check back in the coming weeks."

We also called Carrell Pharmacy, an independently owned family pharmacy off Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers. They say they have the standard, blue medical masks for free. But when it comes to the N95s, you will have to pay out of your wallet.

The need for masks- and Covid-19 tests- is causing a strain for those seeking them.

"It’s hard to find anything," says Holly White, who was seeking both masks and a COVID-19 test. "The shelves seem to be empty, lately. Even trying to find Gatorade- it’s really hard.”

Health officials say upgrading to masks with better protection will help prevent the spread of the omicron variant.