With the ongoing pandemic, the necessity of the N95 respirator has become uncontested. When exposure to the virus is inevitable, as is the case of medical, surgical, and dental health professionals, an N95 respirator is a must.
While our kids and family are not mandated by the law to wear an N95 respirator, whenever possible an N95 respirator still gives us greater peace of mind. The N95 respirator is known to be able to filter out as much as 95 percent of hazardous particles in smoke, dust, and air. With an antiviral disposable face mask like the N95 respirator, there is even more virus protection to prevent flu and other illnesses brought by the virus that is COVID-19.
Where to Buy the N95 respirator
When you are looking to buy the N95 respirator, your first option is to buy local. Though you may be hard-pressed to buy the recommended N95 masks like the 3M N95 Masks, 3M 8511 N95 respirator, 3M 8210 N95 respirator, 1860 N95 respirators, and kn95 masks locally, you will be able to find N95 respirator alternatives.
In the United States, you have the option to shop online for a face mask for sale, both the disposable and the reusable N95 respirator for your protection. Those in the US healthcare need the N95 respirator all the more. While you can buy the N95 respirator online, you may still consider buying locally especially if you already need fast access to an N95 respirator. So where to shop for an N95 respirator locally?
Can I Buy a Face Mask at Costco?
One of the best options for shopping for face masks locally is at Costco. Chances are, there is always one nearby you. They also have an option to buy wholesale and in bulk online. But if you want to try one on for size, you can buy individually at a nearby Costco.
So, what type of face masks does Costco have? For now, Costco sells cloth face masks. However, supplies run out quickly so hurry to your nearest Costco to check for supplies. The advantage of cloth face masks over the N95 respirator is that you can wash them and reuse them. The N95 respirator is one-time use only.
If you want an eco-friendly choice than the N95 respirator, then these reusable cloth face masks are one to consider. With a low price, you may think those with a Costco membership will panic-buy or hoard these face masks at its low price, but Costco already limited the number of face mask boxes that can be purchased with each membership.
One-Time Use Only
There are general-purpose face masks available at Costco under the brand BYD Care. These are single-use only face masks sold individually or for a box of 50. They are light and breathable, perfect for those who can’t stand using cloth face masks.
Keep in mind that counterfeits exist. The same product is available on Amazon for a much cheaper price. When compared side by side, reviewers who bought from both Amazon and Costco noticed that the one from Costco is superior in quality. This is just a reminder that not everything that is cheap is a bargain.
Can You Find N95 Respirators at Costco?
The thing is, BYD Care Single-Use Face Mask, even the original ones sold at Costco, are not N95 respirators. In fact, it says so in the package that their face masks are not respirators. Again, BYD Care General Purpose Face Mask is not an N95 respirator.
While it can minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19, as with the case of cloth face masks, anything that is not an N95 respirator cannot entirely filter out the virus. In fact, the packaging of the BYD Care face mask clearly states that its face mask is unable to eliminate the risk of contracting the virus or any disease or infection, which is unlike the N95 respirator.
Furthermore, their face mask is for adults only and does not fit the size of kids. The face masks sold at Costco are not N95 respirator quality, meaning it is non-surgical, not NIOSH approved, and not FDA cleared. Only the N95 respirator is NIOSH and FDA approved. Caution must be exercised as to the type of environment you go to when wearing the single-use face mask, unlike the N95 respirator that can be used in hospital settings.
Only the N95 respirator should be used in surgical settings with possible exposure to hazardous fluids or high infection risk. This face mask is not N95 respirator and is only distributed for the declaration of emergency use of face masks.
A Word of Caution
Keep in mind, when buying an N95 respirator, that N95 respirator may be imported from China. The BYD Care General Use Face mask is no exception. BYD is a Chinese company previously in rail transit and vehicles business and now transitioned to face masks. Still, they are able to provide Class I face masks with 3-layer protection, but not an N95 respirator.
These are latex-free, non-sterile face masks. If you are looking for surgical masks as well as the N95 respirator, BYD also sells them but currently, there is no N95 respirator available at Costco. Meanwhile, Costco also sells face shields online.
Choosing Your COVID-19 Protection
During the pandemic, while the N95 respirator remains a superior choice in filtering out the virus, the N95 respirator is not always available. The N95 respirator is much-needed in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Where possible, the N95 respirator should be supplied where it is most needed. Doctors and nurses are in a low supply of the N95 respirator and need the N95 respirator for their safety when treating COVID-19 patients.The general public is advised to stay cautious by wearing any type of face mask, even if it is not an N95 respirator. By following hygienic practices and social distancing, cloth face masks and disposable face masks still have many uses in preventing contracting the disease, even in lieu of an N95 respirator.