by Jake Cardinal
(ANNews) – As part of Alberta’s re-launch strategy, non-medical facemasks are now available for free at three major fast food franchises: A&W, McDonald’s, and Tim Horton’s.
“People can visit one of almost 600 A&W, McDonald’s Canada, or Tim Hortons drive-thrus in the province to receive four non-medical masks. Masks are free and no purchase is necessary,” states the Provincial Government website.
There are approximately 20 million facemasks that have been provided to the Franchises, with another 20 million coming in the future.
Susan Senecal, president and CEO of A&W Canada, said in a press release: “Our restaurants have done a great job behind the scenes, getting ready to help distribute masks in communities across Alberta. We’re looking forward to welcoming lots of Albertans at our drive-thrus in the coming days.”
The Province’s website also says, “Albertans are encouraged to pick up masks for family members and friends, especially those who may not be able to get to a drive-thru, 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.
“Masks have also been provided to many municipalities, First Nations communities, Metis Settlements, and local agencies. This includes rural and remote communities that do not have access to a partner restaurant drive-thru and are developing their own distribution plans.”
Meanwhile, Alberta Health Services is now encouraging every Albertan to get tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms or not.
“By getting tested, you’re helping AHS and the province better understand the extent of the disease. This supports AHS and the Alberta government in monitoring and planning as Alberta re-opens,” reads the website.
Jake Cardinal is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on Indigenous Issues for Alberta Native News