The provincial non-medical mask distribution program has come to an end, Alberta’s government said Monday.
In a news release, the province said that as part of its Stage 2 COVID-19 relaunch, 40 million non-medical masks were distributed to Albertans — more than half at A&W, McDonald’s Canada and Tim Hortons locations.
The government also gave masks out to community partners like transit services, First Nations, long-term care centres and places of worship. According to information released Monday, the program allowed the government to save about $35 million in packaging, shipping and distribution costs.
“I want to thank our corporate partners, A&W, McDonald’s Canada and Tim Hortons, for their tremendous support and contribution in making this program a success,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in the release. “Through this program, we helped kick-start individuals’ efforts to acquire masks as the supply chain caught up with demand.
“We want to thank all Albertans who took part in this program, and those who continue to do their civic duty by washing their hands, practising physical distancing and wearing a mask when they can’t physically distance.”
The program officially concluded on Sunday, Aug. 2. The government said there is no plan going forward to distribute any more.
The provincial chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, has said wearing a mask can help limit the spread of the coronavirus. Calgary and Edmonton have both recently put into place bylaws that mandate masks in all indoor public places and on transit. Other municipalities around the province have also put into place rules around face coverings.
Albertans can find instructions for care and use of non-medical masks online.