Wake County Public Health Begins N95 Mask Distribution Thursday

Starting Thursday, Jan. 20, members of the public interested in receiving a free N95 mask provided by NCDHHS can pick them up at five convenient locations throughout Wake County.

Wake County Public Health will distribute masks at the following locations between 8:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday while supplies last:

Residents will need to enter the building and pick them up at the information desks at each location. Masks will also be distributed at testing sites and vaccination clinics for those who have an appointment for those services.

The masks being supplied by the state are N95s and have five layers of protective material. These masks provide more protection than cloth and surgical masks.

County staff will also be distributing masks to community partners and organizations in high risk and underserved populations. More than 200,000 masks were supplied to the County.

Mask Guidance

When choosing a mask, it’s important to check that it fits snugly over your nose, mouth and chin. Ways to check that your mask fits correctly include:

  • Testing for gaps by cupping your hands around the outside edges of the mask and checking for air flow out the gaps.
  • Press down on both sides of the nose bridge wire to secure any gaps there.
  • If the mask has a good fit, you will feel warm air come through the front of the mask and may be able to see the mask material move in and out with each breath.

Do NOT wear masks when:

  • It is hard to breathe while wearing them;
  • They are wet or dirty;
  • Wearing other masks or respirators; and
  • As a replacement for NIOSH-approved respiratory protection when required by your job.

Care and use of N95 Masks

The normal storage time limit on this type of masks is generally five years shelf life in a temperature stable, dry, with no exposure to direct sunlight.

N95s can be worn for five days in a row under usual everyday usage and can be stored in brown paper bags to allow for any moisture to evaporate.

They should be disposed of and changed as soon as possible if they become soiled, wet or known to have had a direct exposure to COVID-19.

Staying Updated
Visit Wake County’s multilingual COVID-19 webpage for the latest information on COVID-19. It features a set of frequently asked questions to educate residents, COVID-19 vaccine information, COVID-19 testing locations and the most current data on how the virus is impacting our county.

Also, look for important updates about COVID-19 on Wake County’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.