Free masks being distributed to Albertans at fast food drive-thrus

Andrew Cummings
May 31, 2020

"Our restaurants across the province have been quick to step up and help organize the distribution of masks, and are looking forward to welcoming Albertans at our drive-thrus", said Susan Senecal, president and CEO of A&W Canada.

The costs for distributing masks via fast-food joints is around $350,000, Shandro said.

The three-layer, single-use masks will be distributed through A&W, McDonalds and Tim Horton drive-thrus starting in early June, Shandro said.

The masks are not part of the provincial supply of PPE for frontline workers.

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

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

The idea is that drive-thrus, which remained open throughout the pandemic, allow for safe social distancing and are therefore a good way to get masks out into the hands of the public.

"For example, riding transit in the province or shopping ... where it may be hard to maintain two metres between people at all times".

Shandro says the Government is still working out the details of getting masks to people who can't access a drive-thru.

Albertans who wish to use non-medical masks are still encouraged to purchase their own supply from local retailers, in addition to using those provided by the government, Shandro said, as the province does not have the ability to give every Albertan their own unlimited supply.

As if you needed more of a reason to head to Tim Hortons.

"Look, this is on the honour system, we're not asking for folks to bring in their health care card and get it punched to show they've already picked up", said Shandro.

While the use of non-medical masks is not mandatory, it has been proven to help prevent spreading the mask-wearers potential illness to others, and is an option for situations when maintaining two metres of separation is not possible.

Alberta has completed the first phase of its economic relaunch.

As of Thursday afternoon, there are 6,955 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, with 6,160 of those considered recovered.

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