The Province of Alberta has begun the distribution of 20 million free non-medical masks.
The free masks are being given to residents as a way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and they’re using the drive-thrus at A&W, Tim Hortons, and McDonald’s to do it.
Distribution started on June 8, a release from the provincial government states, and Albertans can receive the masks while supplies last with no purchase necessary.
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“We’re proud to be the first province in Canada to support residents with free masks for use in situations where physical distancing may not be possible,” said Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro in the release.
“Thank you to our restaurant partners, franchise owners, and staff members, who are volunteering their time and effort to distribute these masks.”
The provincial government is also working with First Nations communities, Metis Settlements, and municipalities to distribute the free masks to those who might not be able to go through a drive-thru, such as those who rely on public transit for transportation.
Both Calgary and Edmonton have been supplied 500,000 masks to be distributed through transit operations.
According to the release, around 95% of Albertans live within 10 km of one of the 600 participating fast food locations.
While the use of non-medical masks is not mandatory, it has been proven to help prevent spreading the mask wearer’s potential illness to others, and is an option for situations when maintaining two metres of separation is not possible.
The masks are available in packs of four and residents are asked to limit themselves to one package.