‘It’s our job to continue to do the work needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as our province relaunches’
Alberta is once again distributing 20 million free non-medical masks to residents of the province, nine million of which will be given out through partner restaurants, according to the government.
Masks are now available at more than 700 partner restaurant locations, including those without drive-thru service, adding more than 100 new locations and expanding the availability of masks to Albertans. No purchase is necessary to pick up masks in restaurants, either at the counter or through drive-thrus.
A&W, McDonald’s Canada, and Tim Hortons partner restaurants are handing out eight masks per person for this distribution, and Albertans are encouraged to pick up masks for family and friends to reduce traffic at partner restaurant locations. Masks will be available at restaurants while supplies last.
“Albertans don’t shy away from hard work when there is a job to do. Right now, it’s our job to continue to do the work needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as our province relaunches,” said Premier Jason Kenney. “Washing your hands regularly, practising physical distancing, and wearing a mask when physical distancing isn’t possible will help keep us all safe.”
Also distributing masks are numerous:
- long-term care and supportive living facilities
- seniors facilities
- community groups
- social service organizations
- court houses
- places of worship
The province is also supplying masks to municipalities without easy access to a partner restaurant location, First Nations communities and Métis settlements.
Four million masks are being provided to 20 transit systems across Alberta, including Calgary and Edmonton, to be used by transit riders. 7-Eleven Canada donated logistics support to ship and deliver masks and distribution supplies from the government warehouse to each participating transit service.
“This is the only initiative of its kind in Canada and it’s a key support to our safe relaunch. Like other provinces, we strongly recommend people follow public health advice on distancing, and wear a mask when that’s not possible,” said Tyler Shandro, minister of health. “And we’re the only province in Canada that’s backing up that advice with free masks to socialize their use.”
Those who cannot access a restaurant partner or access masks through alternate municipal or community providers can call Alberta 211.
The lack of access to PPE is related to increased levels of anxiety and depression among healthcare workers, according to a report released in June.