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KN95s available at Kenai Public Health

Creative Commons photo by 2C2K Photography)

Update: This story was updated Tuesday, Feb. 8 with an updated list of KN95 pick-up locations.

The Kenai Public Health Center has packages of KN95 masks in stock that it’s giving away at no cost.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended people wear KN95s and N95s to protect against the more-contagious omicron variant. Both mask types are supposed to filter up to 95 percent of small particles. N95s have bands that wrap around people’s heads, while KN95s stay on with ear loops.

Kenai Public Health Nurse Tami Marsters said the center just got a large shipment of KN95s from the state. Each package comes with five masks.

She said KN95s are better than cloth masks.

“The KN95s fit tighter around your face, and they go farther under your chin," she said. "They also have several layers of thickness.” 

Marsters said anyone can come in and get a package of masks, including businesses that might need masks for their employees.

Kenai Public Health is distributing masks to facilities around the central peninsula. They are available at the following locations:

  • Kenai Community Library
  • Soldotna Public Library
  • Kenai Peninsula Food Bank
  • Vaccine clinic at the Soldotna Y

The center also has free at-home test kits, which can be taken anywhere and take 15 minutes to produce a result. Marsters said they were out of test kits Friday. but are scheduled to get another shipment Monday.

Kenai Public Health is open between 8a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Separately, Peninsula Community Health Services is supposed to get a shipment of N95s from the feds, as part of a federal program to distribute N95s around the country. As of Friday, those masks had not yet arrived.

Meanwhile, Alaska now has the highest case rate of any state in the country. The Kenai Peninsula Borough had over 900 new COVID-19 cases in the last week.

Sabine Poux is a producer and reporter for the Brave Little State podcast of Vermont Public. She was formerly news director and evening news host at KDLL in Kenai.

Originally from New York, Sabine has lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont and Kenai.
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