Lowcountry pharmacies prepare to distribute federal N95 masks
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Lowcountry pharmacies are preparing to receive N95 masks from the federal government days after the Biden administration announced its plan to fight the recent COVID surge.
Joseph Kroll, the pharmacy director of Moncks Corner-based Delta Pharmacy and Medical Supply, said the company has been planning for a possible start to distribution next week.
“We do anticipate a lot more people coming into our stores to get these free masks,” Kroll said. “They do offer more protection than your cloth mask and your paper mask.”
The Biden administration announced on Wednesday they will be distributing 400 million N95 masks nationwide to help stop the spread of the Omicron variant.
However, Guerin’s Pharmacy Owner Barbara Dunning said they are already getting calls regarding when the masks will be in stock.
“We have a piece of paper glued to the wall back there and taking their name and phone number,” Dunning said. “As soon as we get some or we’ve been told we’re going to get them, we’ll call them and tell them they’re coming.”
In statements to Live 5 News, CVS and Walgreens said people will be able to pick up these masks for free at several locations in the coming weeks as the masks start coming in.
A Walmart spokesperson said, “Masks will be available starting late next week at the front of select stores and in select clubs for individuals and families to pick up three masks per person as determined by the federal government to help keep themselves and others healthy while supplies last.”
Both Kroll and Dunning, however, said they are not exactly sure when these masks will come in, but they hope to get their first batch by the end of the month.
“It’s frustrating that we have to tell people that ‘No, we don’t know anything,’” Dunning said. “Or, ‘No, we haven’t heard.’ Or, ‘We aren’t sure.’ ‘We can’t give you a date,’ and you know there are people who want to protect themselves during this pandemic.”
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