Covid news: Free N95 masks at Meijer; military help coming to Lansing hospital

January 25, 2022, 11:22 AM

Get 'em while they last: Giveaways of high-grade face masks begin at Meijer stores.

The Michigan-based retailer got about 3 million N95 masks as part of a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services nationwide distribution.

(Photo: 3M Company)

The free items for Covid safety are on a table inside each location's grocery entrance. "The greeter, who will be wearing gloves, will place the N95 masks in piles of three for the customers to take," an announcement says. 

The chain has about 240 stores in Michigan and five other Midwestern states, which means each could get 12,500 masks if they're allocted equally rather than by population sizes.

The federal government also offers four free at-home Covid rapid tests for each household, which can be ordered at or through the Postal Service at

Sparrow Hospital gets federal team

A military medical team will bolster overloaded staffers at a sixth Michigan facility -- Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. About two dozen doztors, nurses and technicians on Feb. 7 begin a month-long deployment at the hospital, where 172 Covid patients on Monday filled more than one-quarter of its 676 beds.


Sparrow's main hospital was at 100% capacity as this week began, state data shows. Two dozen Covid cases were in its intensive care unit.

Department of Defense teams were assigned earlier to Beaumont Dearborn, Henry Ford Hospital in Wyandotte, plus hospitals in Grand Rapids, Saginaw and Muskegon. "These federal medical teams are providing much-needed relief and a morale boost," state Health Director Elizabeth Hertel says in a statement.


Fewer Hospital Beds Are Used for Covid Care in Southeast Michigan and Around State

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