The Biden Administration plans to distribute millions of free face masks and 500 million free at-home COVID tests across the country to combat the latest surge of COVID-19 cases and the highly contagious omicron variant.
White House officials fannounced a plan to provide 400 million non-surgical N95 masks at pharmacies and community health centers nationwide.
"This is the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in US history," an official told CNN, adding that the program should be "fully up and running by early February."
The move is a response to a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measure updating guidelines for face masks. Medical officials say cloth masks offer little in the way of protection.
"We need to be wearing at least a three-ply surgical mask," reported CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
She added that ideally people should wear KN95 or N95 masks.
Americans can order four free at-home COVID-19 tests online.
The rapid at-home tests can be ordered on the website COVIDtests.gov, where you just need to enter your name and address. Tests will be limited to four per household, no matter the size of the household.