Alberta teams up with fast food chains to distribute non-medical masks

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Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced Friday that A&W, McDonald's and Tim Hortons will distribute non-medical masks at no cost through their drive-thru locations across the province, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Province says Tim Horton's, McDonald's and A&W Restaurants in Alberta have partnered with the Government to hand out non-medical masks, at no cost, to people going through drive-thru's.

The masks, which have three layers and ear loops, are not considered personal protective equipment and are not part of the supply of masks being sent to first responders or health-care workers, Shandro said.

According to the release, around 95% of Albertans live within 10 km of one of the 600 participating fast food locations.

Shandro said that starting in early June, people will be able to use drive-thru lanes at McDonald's, A&W and Tim Hortons to pick up single use, three-layer, non-medical masks created to filter germs and pollution particles.

"The masks will be free of charge and no purchase will be necessary to obtain them", he said.

"Our government can not supply Albertans with unlimited masks".

"It's definitely a good idea for now to help people out who can't afford them", said Ronan Kinash at a McDonald's drive-thru near Canada Olympic Park on Friday.

Meanwhile, smaller municipalities, Indigenous communities, Metis settlements, and other areas in the province that do not have access to drive-thru restaurants won't have nothing to worry about because the Alberta government is "working out alternatives" for them.

The fast-food companies are not charging the government to distribute the masks, Shandro said.

As if you needed more of a reason to head to Tim Hortons. "Our team members are wearing non-medical grade masks as well as gloves and face shields so we've taken lots of precaution in the restaurant to ensure it's safe both inside and at our drive-thru".

New cases of COVID-19 are continuing to slow in Alberta, which recorded just 13 new infections Saturday.



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