The Province of Alberta has just under two months to come up with 1.7 million reusable masks.
With K-12 students throughout the province expected to return to classrooms by September, and most needing a face mask to do so, the province stated that they will be supplying two reusable face masks to all students who fall under the mandatory face covering policy.
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A recent statement from Alberta’s Minister of Health, Adriana LaGrange, notes just how the provincial government plans to provide such a large amount of face coverings.
“Some have recently questioned the ability of Alberta’s government to purchase the requisite 1.6 million reusable masks in time for the start of K-12 classes this fall,” said Lagrange in the statement.
“Orders totalling 1.7 million masks have been placed – one to IFR, an Alberta-based company, and the other to Old Navy. The total value of the mask contracts is $4.2 million.”
She stated that, while some local businesses had been eager to supply reusable face masks, the short time frame that the province was working with necessitated using vendors capable of providing such large numbers of product in a short amount of time.
“Given the expediency required, the POC has directly approached experienced, established vendors to fulfil personal protective equipment (PPE) needs for school reopenings,” said LaGrange.
“Government of Alberta contracting policies allow for this expedited process in urgent situations, as a standard request for proposal tendering process would not allow the government to fulfil our schools’ needs in the timely manner required.”
When Alberta students return to classrooms this September, facemasks will be mandatory for students in grade 4 to 12, as well as all school staff.
Masks will be optional for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students and those who may not be able to wear a mask due to medical conditions.