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40 million masks provided to Albertans

The Masks for Albertans program has ended, with 40 million non-medical masks being distributed to Albertans, more than half of which were handed out at A&W, McDonald’s Canada and Tim Hortons locations.

As Stage Two of Alberta’s relaunch progresses, Alberta’s government has worked with numerous partners to ensure that as many Albertans as possible had the opportunity to get a small supply of masks. This distribution of non-medical masks was the first – and so far only – program of its type in Canada.

By partnering with A&W, McDonald’s Canada, Tim Hortons and community partners like transit services, First Nations communities and Metis Settlements, places of worship and others, the Government of Alberta saved an estimated $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. 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.” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

Distribution of masks through restaurant partners and the 211 services concluded on Aug. 2. Community and social service partners who have developed their own distribution timelines may still have masks available for their own residents, clients and service users. At this time, Alberta’s government has no plans to distribute more free masks. The program was intended to offer free non-medical masks to Albertans to supplement an individual’s own efforts to acquire their own supply of non-medical masks.

Albertans who wish to use masks in situations where physical distancing is not possible are encouraged to support their local pharmacies, grocery stores, and hardware store when buying masks. Directions for making cloth masks are available at

Quick facts

  • 40 million non-medical masks were shared with Albertans.

  • 26.1 million masks were handed out free of charge by program partners A&W, McDonald’s Canada and Tim Hortons at more than 700 of their restaurant locations provincewide in June and July.

  • Five million masks were provided to 21 transit services in Alberta, including Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton for distribution to their riders.

    • Free shipping and delivery of these masks to each transit service was provided by 7-Eleven Canada.

  • 2.5 million masks were delivered to more than 1,000 places of worship in the province for use by members of their congregations.

  • 2.6 million masks were provided to municipalities without easy access to partner restaurants, First Nations communities and Metis Settlements for distribution to their residents.

  • 3.6 million masks were distributed to long-term care and seniors facilities, groups and organizations that support vulnerable Albertans, municipal and regional library boards, courthouses, and food banks.

  • 200,000 masks were shipped directly to Albertans who could not access drive-thrus.

  • Instructions for proper care and use of non-medical masks are available at

Provincial Press Release August 3,2020 @ 4:34 PM


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