By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida pharmacies and some stores began distributing free N95 masks on Friday.

CBS 4 checked at CVS and Walgreens pharmacies in Broward County and found clerks passing the masks out at several stores.

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Winn Dixie and Fresco y Mas pharmacies are expected to get shipments too and there is a limit of 3 masks per person.

The program is part of the Biden administration’s effort to distribute 400 million free N95 masks from the Strategic National Stockpile via pharmacies and community health centers.

The masks are arriving at their destinations with accompanying flyers and signage from the US Department of Health and Human Services, which paid for the masks.

N95 masks are seen as a way to help control the highly contagious omicron variant because they are said to prevent you from breathing in 95 percent of particles.

Rodney Wiggins wasn’t looking for masks, but a clerk at a Walgreens in Pompano Beach offered him a plastic bag with three free N95 masks

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“It’s Awesome. Everyone needs it with the Covid going around and everything” he said

Cynthia Rocha didn’t know about the program and was happily surprised to find the free masks in her shopping bag.

“How come they weren’t giving them to us before?” she wondered.

Pharmacies will not tell you over the phone whether a certain store has received a shipment of the free masks. You will have to go in person to find out.

Also, the free government-issued COVID home test kits that you order online have begun arriving in South Florida mailboxes.

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(©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)