The Province of Alberta has begun the distribution of another 20 million free non-medical masks, with nine million currently being available through fast food restaurants.
An initial 20 million had been given away earlier this summer to residents as a way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the province had partnered with A&W, Tim Hortons, and McDonald’s locations to do it.
Distribution of the first round started on June 8, a release from the provincial government states, and while the supply ran out by the end of the month, the province has now announced that another 20 million will be distributed through the same channels.
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“Albertans don’t shy away from hard work when there is a job to do,” said Premier Jason Kenney in the release.
“Right now, it’s our job to continue to do the work needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as our province relaunches. Washing your hands regularly, practising physical distancing, and wearing a mask when physical distancing isn’t possible will help keep us all safe.”
Nine million masks will be handed out through drive-thrus across Alberta, with no purchase necessary and each person receiving eight masks.
An additional 100 drive-thru locations have been added this time around, the release states, in the hopes that the offer will reach more Albertans.
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 masks to be distributed through transit operations.
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 two packs of four or one pack of eight.