OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Oklahoma State Department of Health says it is working to make sure Oklahomans have widely available access to N95 masks in the state.

According to a news release from the department, the distribution will be made in partnership with the Oklahoma Pharmacists Association and pharmacy partners around the state.

The OSDH says it will be distributing N95 masks around the state to local pharmacies through a distribution system that will provide Oklahomans the opportunity to go to their local pharmacies to receive free N95 masks.

The release says through the OSDH and Federal Government distributions, local, independent pharmacies and pharmacies that are a part of the Federal Retail Providers program will have N95 masks available to Oklahomans throughout the state.

“With the highly transmissible omicron variant we know that the quality of the mask someone chooses to wear matters,” said Michael DeRemer, director of emergency preparedness and response service for the OSDH. “We want to make sure all Oklahomans have access to the best mask possible to protect themselves and others from this virus, no matter where they live and at no cost.”

The first shipment of masks was sent to select pharmacies on January 27 with the next shipment to additional pharmacies occurring on January 31.

In total, the OSDH says it will distribute just over 500,000 N95 masks across the state.