Get Ready for Flu Season, the Holiday Rise of COVID-19: Face Masks, Test Kits, and More

Get Ready for Flu Season, the Holiday Rise of COVID-19: Face Masks, Test Kits, and More

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Two years have passed since COVID-19 The pandemic first hit the US and people are still getting sick. Now, health officials warn that a severe flu season is on the way. If you want to know how to best protect your health, read on for our CBS Essentials guide to everything cold, flu and COVID-19 right now, including masks, travel, test kits and more.

Featured products in this article:

Kimberly-Clark N95 Professional Bag Respirator (50-pack), $52 (reduced from $86)

Honeywell DC300 N95 Disposable Particulate Respirators (20-Pack), $30

Lucira Check It COVID-19 Test Kit, $68 (reduced from $75)

Follow the links for more in-depth articles on each topic to learn everything you need to know about the pandemic, as well as find product recommendations to use along with your vaccines.

face masks

In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that more than 90% of Americans can now consider removing their masks while indoors. But masks are still required in some places, including some airlines and private companies. If you plan to wear a mask, at a minimum, the CDC recommends that you wear a mask with multiple layers that completely covers your mouth, nose and chin. Fashion brands sell eye-catching mask designs these days, and there masks made specifically for working out. If you like these options, you may want to consider double masking, layering a cloth mask over a disposable N95 or KN95 mask, for an extra level of protection.

N95 masks offer the best protection, but to confuse things, there are similarly named KN95 masks on the market. These masks, unlike N95s, are not vetted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, but offer a roughly similar level of protection when worn correctly.

Check out the CBS Essentials guide for the difference between N95, KN95, surgical and cloth masks to find the best fit for you.

n95 masks

These masks offer the best protection against COVID-19 and cold and flu-causing germs (filtering at least 95% of all airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns).

Unfortunately, many N95 masks are counterfeit. Check out the CBS Essentials article on How to spot a fake N95 and KN95 mask.

Kimberly-Clark Professional N95 Bag Respirator (50-Pack)

Kimberly-Clark PROFESSIONAL N95 Bag Respirator


If you are willing to buy 50 skins, these, from Kimberly-ClarkThey have a large breathing chamber for comfort and soft yet strong headbands.

They are for sale now.

Kimberly-Clark N95 Professional Bag Respirator (50-pack), $52 (reduced from $86)

Honeywell DC300 N95 Disposable Particulate Respirators (20-Pack)

Honeywell DC300 N95 Disposable Particulate Respirators


This mask is designed to comfortably fit more face shapes, while still providing protection.

The form-fitting mask follows the natural shape of your face, minimizing uncomfortable pressure points.

Honeywell DC300 N95 Disposable Particulate Respirators (20-Pack), $30

Benehal N95 Particulate Respirators (20 Pack)


Benehal via Amazon

These NIOSH approved masks they have four filter layers and feature an adjustable nose clip.

Double elastic head straps eliminate pressure on the ears and are designed to make wearing the mask more comfortable.

Benehal N95 Particulate Respirators with Mask (20 Pack), $19 with coupon (reduced from $53)

Children’s masks (KF94 and KN95 masks)

While there are no children’s masks classified as N95, which is a designation only for adult-sized masks, there are KF94 and KN95 masks in children’s sizesthat offer a similar level of protection.

Brookwood Medical Children’s KF94 Disposable Face Masks (Pack of 30)

Disposable masks for children

Brookwood Physician

Choose from all kinds of kid-friendly prints at this four-layer disposable face mask. The fish-style design of the mask prevents them from gaping and does not stick to their mouths.

A pack of 10 is also available.

Brookwood Medical Children’s Disposable Face Masks (30 pack), $40 (reduced from $50)

Dr. Puri KF94 Masks (Pack of 20)

Dr Puri KF94


these masks they claim 99% filtration and come in small, medium and large sizes.

You can save an additional 10% if you choose to subscribe and save.

Dr. Puri KF94 Masks (20 pack), $27

COVID-19 test kits

Experiencing cold or flu symptoms? It could be COVID-19. Carry a COVID-19 home test kit to stay informed about your health and slow the spread.

The federal government has ended its free home COVID-19 testing program due to lack of continued funding.

The good news is that there are many COVID-19 tests available online. And while the government may not cover the bill, your FSA/HSA account or health insurance company may. Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 testing availability in the fall of 2022.

Does health insurance cover COVID-19 home testing?

Private insurance companies now required to reimburse over-the-counter COVID test kits. Up to eight tests are covered per month, per person. The requirement, issued by the Biden administration, applies to all in-home COVID-19 tests covered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization. of a test is usually indicated on its packaging).

Tests purchased before January 15, 2022 do not qualify. Contact your insurance company for more information about your policy.

Are FSA and HSA in-home COVID-19 tests eligible?

Yes, home COVID-19 tests are eligible for FSA and HSA. Contact your FSA or HSA provider for reimbursement details.

What are the most popular COVID-19 antigen tests you can buy online?

The following list of coronavirus tests includes the kits with the most customer ratings on the Walgreens, Walmart and Amazon sites. Each kit featured here has received emergency use authorization from the FDA.

BinaxNOW COVID-19 Rapid Home Self Test Kit

BinaxNOW Covid-19 Quick Self Test

Abbott via Walgreens

This FDA cleared rapid antigen test from Abbott contains two nasal swabs, so that two tests are performed approximately three days apart. Results from each swab are promised within 15 minutes. The test is authorized from 2 years of age.

BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test (2 counts), $20

Flowflex COVID-19 Home Test (5 Pack)



If you test the whole family or test regularly for work, it makes sense to buy your COVID-19 tests in bulk; you will get the best price per trial that way. These rated 4.6 stars Flowflex COVID-19 Testing they’re just $6.90 each on Amazon when you buy a pack of five.

Flowflex COVID-19 Home Test (5-pack), $34

iHealth COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test (5-Pack)



iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Tests they were once distributed by the federal government for free. Now that the program has ended, the iHealth tests are one of the most cost-effective 15-minute tests you can buy, but now you have to to buy to them.

These 4.3-star rated coronavirus tests from iHealth are just $7.19 each when you buy them in a pack of five.

iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (5-Pack), $36 after coupon (reduced from $45)

You can also purchase iHealth COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests in quantities of two for a slightly higher price per test.

iHealth COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test (2-pack), $17

Quidel QuickVue At-Home Test OTC COVID-19

Quidel QuickVue At-Home Test OTC COVID-19

Quidel via Amazon

Quidel’s QuickVue is a rapid antigen test that contains two nasal swabs, for two tests, to be used two to three days apart. It promises results in about 10 minutes. Authorized for ages 2 and up.

Quidel QuickVue at-home OTC COVID-19 test, $23

BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Digital Test Kit

BD Veritor at-Home COVID-19 Digital Test Kit

BD Veritor via Amazon

The BD Veritor Home Kit is a rapid nasal swab antigen test that works with an app, so instead of reading lines on an applicator, you get a reading on your smartphone that declares whether you’re negative or positive for COVID-19. Results take 15 minutes. Two tests are included; they should be used within two to three days of each other. Authorized for ages 2 and up.

BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Digital Test Kit, $24 (regular price $40)

Lucira Check It COVID-19 Test Kit

Lucira Check It COVID-19 Test Kit

Lucia via Amazon

the Lucira’s Check It COVID-19 Test is a molecular test that uses a nasal swab to produce results in 30 minutes or less. Molecular kits are designed to detect the presence of COVID-19 earlier and more accurately than previous antigen tests.

This kit contains one test. Authorized for ages 2 and up.

Lucira Check It COVID-19 Test Kit, $68 (reduced from $75)

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