How to purchase an N95 mask in New York

April 17 is when New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into effect the state’s mask mandate. New York has 1.1 million cases, making it 4th in the rank across all of the US states. The mask mandate is in response to the state’s growing number of positive cases.

Masks have proven themselves effective. But not all masks are equally effective. Of all masks available in the market, the N95 mask is the leading mask in terms of protection. The N95 mask is capable of protecting the wearer from the virus. The N95 mask is capable of filtering particles and bacteria up to 95%. Also, the N95 mask can achieve a tight seal on the nose and the mouth. This makes it particles impossible to infiltrate the system.

Given the effectiveness of the N95 mask, citizens of New York must know where to go. There are shops that sell legit N95 masks. By knowing these shops, citizens of New York can be assured of the N95 mask that they are buying.

Pharmacy

Aside from prescription drugs, the N95 mask can be sold in a pharmacy. The good thing about a pharmacy is it is closely tied to a medical supply chain that distributes the N95 mask. Also, The N95 mask in a pharmacy is guaranteed safe and follows the standard pricing as suggested by the manufacturer. Here are some stores across New York:

  • Walgreens
  • Rite Aid
  •  CVS Drugs

Home Depot

Home Depot not only offers home improvement services and tools but also, offers the N95 mask. Both the valved N95 mask and the unvalved N95 mask are sold here. This is because the efficiency of the N95 mask is acknowledged in the fields of construction and engineering. The Home Depot has 40+ branches across New York. 

Hardware

A Hardware is known for offering various services and tools that cater to multiple needs in construction. Since the N95 mask is acknowledged in the field of construction, the N95 mask is sold in hardware as well. Both the valved and the unvalved N95 masks are sold here. Right at 778 9th Avenue is where West Side Home Center is. 

Supermarket

Supermarkets have mini hardware sections or utility sections that house the N95 mask. They follow the standard pricing and are one of the most accessible stores to drive to. Walmart sells the N95 mask at an affordable price.

Things to consider before buying the N95 mask

These stores sell the NIOSH-approved N95 masks. But citizens of New York must be able to tell the difference between the true N95 mask from the fake ones. There are quite a few red flags that New York citizens should be careful with:

  • On the surface of the N95 mask, there are markings and words. These markings on the N95 mask must be spelled correctly. Otherwise, it is fake.
  • Along with the markings is the NIOSH approval number. If it’s incomplete, the N95 mask that you have purchased is a counterfeit.
  • With the protection the N95 mask can provide, it is not suitable for children. If the purchased N95 mask is claiming to be safe for children, it is a fake one.

How should citizens of New York put on the N95 mask?

The efficiency of a mask relies on the correctness of its installation. The moment you donned the N95 mask wrong, this makes you a potential target of the virus. While the N95 mask can protect you, you are still open to become its target once you put the mask inappropriately.

Before touching the N95 mask, washing your hands is a must. Healthcare experts recommend washing your hands with anti-bacterial or germicidal soap and water for 20 seconds. Using a clean towel, pat dry your hands. Once your hands are dry, apply a generous amount of rubbing alcohol and let your hands be air-dried. Moreover, before putting the N95 mask onto your face, wash your face with the soap of your choice and water. Or, you can use sanitary wet wipes to wipe your face clean.

Installing the N95 mask

Instead of touching the inside of the N95 mask, place the mask in your preferred hand with the inside facing upwards. Touch the outside surface of the N95 mask. As much as possible, avoid touching the inside of the N95 mask. It is sterile.

  • Put the N95 mask onto your face with the straps hanging below your preferred hand. Make sure to hold the N95 mask with your chin. For men, make sure that your chin does not have any stubble. The stubble traps dirt that can obstruct the sterility of the N95 mask.
  • There are two straps of the N95 mask; the top and the bottom straps. The bottom strap of the N95 mask must be placed around the area of the neck below the ears. The top strap of the N95 mask must be placed on the top back part of your head.
  • To secure the nose fit, put your index and middle finger of both hands on top of the nose clip of the N95 mask. Slide your fingertips down molding the shape of the nose.
  • To check for any leakage, place both hands onto the surface of the N95 mask. Perform a quick breathing exercise. If air escapes from any part of the N95 mask, adjust the fit. You can adjust either the nose fit or the fit of the cheeks and the chin.

A mask is an effective defense. With the rising cases, nothing beats the defense from a mask. Along with social distancing and proper hand hygiene, your chance of being infected is at a minimal rate.

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