Alberta hands out more than 20 million free non-medical masks

Long-term care facilities, independent living facilities among those receiving masks

Alberta hands out more than 20 million free non-medical masks

Alberta has handed out more than 14 million free non-medical masks to locals via drive-thrus at partner businesses A&W, McDonald’s Canada and Tim Hortons across the province, says the government.

And six million more have been or will be shared directly with municipalities, seniors’ organizations, Indigenous partners, places of worship and others to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

The government also shared masks to those without access to drive-thrus, including:

  • Edmonton Transit, Calgary Transit, and municipalities without convenient access to a drive-thru
  • First Nations and Métis Settlements
  • seniors’ organizations and independent living facilities
  • long-term care and permanent supportive living facilities
  • women’s shelters, homeless shelters and street outreach programs
  • addiction treatment centres
  • foster and kinship parents
  • Albertans who contacted 211 and could not access a drive-thru partner or the alternate municipal or community providers

As of June 19, the Alberta government has received 1,000 requests for masks from places of worship across the province, and more than two million masks will be provided to them in the next few days for distribution to their congregations, according to the government.

“Thank you to all our partners for helping our government distribute millions of non-medical masks to every corner of Alberta. No other province in Canada has accomplished such a feat,” says Tyler Shandro, minister of health. “A program of this scale would not have been possible without your hard work and community support. We will continue to support Albertans as we move through stage two of relaunch, and people continue to get back to work.”

With the success of the program, distribution of free non-medical masks at the three restaurant partners will continue until the second phase in July. But those who have not received a mask can continue to call 211 to request a package.

Another 20 million masks will be distributed in July via drive-thrus and other partners. Details will be announced in the next couple of weeks, says the government.

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