Another 20 million masks have been shipped to municipalities across Alberta as the province expands its free non-medical mask program.

The government is once again partnering with A&W, McDonald’s and Tim Hortons to distribute the masks at no cost through their drive-thru locations. Health Minister Tyler Shandro says the masks will now be available over the counter at participating restaurants as well and more masks will be available in each package.

“People asked for more masks, and the restaurants asked us to simplify the packaging process for their employees to help with this, so, this time there will be eight masks per package, instead of four.”

“As well, I encourage Albertans to pick up masks for their family, and friends who can’t get to a drive-thru or restaurant to get their own,” he urges.

Masks will also be made available to seniors care homes, libraries, and transit companies throughout the province.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw encourages residents across the province to do their part in keeping the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum by wearing masks in public.

“I am strongly recommending that all of us wear masks any time we are out and can’t maintain a two-meter distance from others, especially in indoor spaces. Wearing a mask is a common-sense precaution that should be part of everyone’s new normal.”

Dr. Hinshaw argues wearing a mask is simply the right thing to do, adding that Albertans have supported each other through floods and fires in the past, and this should be no different.