Albertans have another chance to pick up free non-medical face masks at the counter or drive-thru of their local A&W, McDonald’s Canada or Tim Hortons restaurant.
The Alberta government will start distributing another 20 million free non-medical masks through restaurant partners - A&W, McDonald's Canada and Tim Hortons - on Monday, July 13th.
The province says 95 per cent of Albertans live within 10 kilometres of one of these 600 restaurant locations.
Quinn Jacobs one of the owners of the Tim Hortons in Olds, Innisfail, Didsbury & Sundre says those individuals who were looking for masks definitely appreciated the chance to pick them up during the first round, which began back on June 8th.
Jacobs says starting on Monday, July 13th the free non-medical masks will be available either at the drive-thru or in-store. He adds, no purchase is necessary.
Mask use is not mandatory in the province, however it is an important option for situations where maintaining physical distancing of two metres away from other individuals is not possible.
In June, 20 million masks were distributed by the Alberta government through restaurant partners, municipalities, long-term care facilities, First Nations and Metis Settlements, and other organizations.
Alberta is the only province in Canada to take this important step to help limit the spread of COVID-19 throughout the province.
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. 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. Washing your hands regularly, practising physical distancing, and wearing a mask when physical distancing isn’t possible will help keep us all safe.”Jason Kenney, Premier
A larger number of long-term care and supportive living, seniors facilities, community groups, social service organizations, libraries, court houses and places of worship will be distributing masks to their residents, clients and members. Municipalities without easy access to a partner restaurant location are again being supplied with masks to distribute to their residents, as are First Nations communities and Metis 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 has generously donated logistics support to ship and deliver these masks and distribution supplies from the government warehouse to each participating transit service.
Wearing a non-medical mask when it's difficult to maintain physical distancing of two metres is one way we can continue to limit the spread of COVID-19 as we relaunch our province. This initiative is a key part of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy to safely reopen our economy while protecting Albertans from COVID-19.
“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. And we’re the only province in Canada that’s backing up that advice with free masks to socialize their use. Thank you to our partners A&W, McDonald’s Canada, and Tim Hortons for again stepping up to support us – and to 7-Eleven Canada for volunteering to ship masks to transit services. And, of course, thanks to municipalities, First Nations and Metis communities, places of worship, social services organizations, seniors facilities and others who are helping us get masks to as many Albertans as possible.”Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
“We were very pleased with how smoothly the first distribution went and are ready to go again. We know from our guests that Albertans want the masks and we are very pleased to be able to help the government in this way.”Susan Senecal, president and CEO, A&W Canada
“McDonald’s Canada will continue to partner with the Alberta government to distribute masks in our drive-thrus and now, in our restaurants. We look forward to welcoming all Albertans back into our restaurants as we safely reopen across the province for both take-out and dine-in.”Jeff Kroll, restaurant support officer and COVID Response lead, McDonald’s Canada
“Tim Hortons and its restaurant owners were excited and honoured to support the distribution of free masks to Albertans last month. We look forward to the second phase, when we’ll also be offering masks at the counter inside our restaurants as well as in our drive-thrus. Tim Hortons is proud of how restaurant owners and team members have stepped up to help Alberta move forward with its recovery plan.”Mike Hancock, chief operating officer, Tim Hortons
“7-Eleven Canada is proud to volunteer the shipping and logistics support necessary to bring millions of masks to transit services and their riders across Alberta. We hope that our contribution to the government’s Masks for Albertans program will help Albertans get to their destination and home again safely wherever transit takes them."Norman Hower, vice-president and general manager, 7-Eleven Canada
- Mask use is not mandatory; they are an option for situations where maintaining a distance of two metres is not possible.
- This program is intended to supplement an individual’s own efforts to acquire non-medical masks. Albertans who wish to use non-medical masks are encouraged to purchase their own supply from local retailers in addition to using those provided by government.
- From the supply of 20 million masks:
- Nine million are being distributed by partner restaurants.
- Four million are being provided to 20 municipal transit system operators, including Calgary, Red Deer, and Edmonton, primarily for distribution to transit users.
- 7-Eleven Canada is providing logistics support to ship non-medical masks to transit system operators across the province.
- 2.5 million have been provided to places of worship.
- 900,000 are going to long-term care and seniors facilities.
- 800,000 are going to First Nations communities and Metis Settlements.
- 500,000 are going to communities without easy access to restaurants.
- 1.5 million are being offered to social services organizations to support vulnerable Albertans.
- 500,000 are going to court houses for distribution to the public attending court proceedings.
- 300,000 are held in reserve for communities that may experience outbreaks and require additional masks.
- Municipalities, First Nations communities and Metis Settlements, transit services, places of worship, long-term care, seniors facilities and all participating service organizations will develop their own distribution programs and timelines.
- There are several locations for each restaurant partner that are unable to participate due to their small size limiting their ability to store masks, or the fact they are located inside a separate business or facility such as a Walmart, shopping mall or hospital food court.
- Restaurants that are still closed due to COVID-19 restrictions do not have masks available.
- Restaurants will provide eight masks per person – this may come in two packs of four, or in one pack of eight.
- Contact Alberta 211 for assistance if you cannot access a restaurant partner or access masks through alternate municipal or community providers.
- Alberta 211 is a community service partner supporting the distribution of masks. Any concerns or complaints about the distribution of masks should be directed to the feedback form on alberta.ca/masks.
- Instructions for proper care and use of non-medical masks are available at alberta.ca/masks.
(Contains content from The Canadian Press)