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Non-medical masks available free in Fort Macleod

Courtney Ross hands out free COVID-19 non-medical masks at the A&W drive-through.

Albertans can now access 20-million free, non-medical face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

People can visit one of almost 600 A&W, McDonald’s Canada, or Tim Hortons drive-throughs to receive four non-medical masks.

Masks are free and no purchase is necessary.

“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,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said.

Albertans are encouraged to pick up masks for family members and friends, especially those who may not be able to get to a drive-through, to reduce traffic.

Masks are being distributed on the honour system, and people are asked to respect the limit of one package of four masks per Albertan to ensure everyone who wants masks can get them.

About 95 per cent of Albertans live within 10 kilometres of these drive-throughs.

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 efforts to acquire non-medical masks.

Albertans who wish to use non-medical masks are encouraged to buy their own supply from local retailers in addition to using those provided by government.

Masks are being provided to seniors facilities and organizations that support vulnerable populations for distribution to their residents, clients and program members. These masks are not available to the general public. 

The cities of Edmonton and Calgary have each been supplied 500,000 masks, and will be responsible for distributing them mainly through their transit operations.

Planning is under way to supply masks to places of worship across Alberta.

Plans to distribute another 20-million masks are being developed.

Instructions for proper care and use of non-medical masks are available at alberta.ca/masks.

This initiative is part of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy to safely reduce public health restrictions and reopen our economy. For more information, visit alberta.ca/RelaunchStrategy.

To learn more, visit alberta.ca/masks.

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