Non-medical masks now available at A&W, McDonald's and Tim Hortons drive-thrus

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CALGARY -- Non-medical masks are now available, free of charge, at A&W, McDonald's and Tim Hortons drive-thrus across Alberta.

No purchase is necessary to get a mask, which will be distributed in packs of four.

"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," read a release from the province.

"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 distributed to several rural communities that don't have a partner drive-thru.

More information is available on the province's website at alberta.ca/masks.

The province received an order of 20 million masks last month at a cost of about $15 million.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said the program is meant to supplement rather than supply Albertans with masks.

"I encourage all Albertans to source their own supply of non-medical masks from local retailers or to consider using a homemade mask when they're out in their community," he said while announcing the program.

"Our government cannot supply Albertans with unlimited masks. This allotment of four masks should be considered a supplement to store-bought or homemade masks."

Officials estimate 95 per cent of Albertans live within 10 kilometres of one of the three drive-thrus.

Albertans are encouraged to remain at least two metres away from other people while in public and to wear a mask when that isn't possible, like when riding transit or in a grocery store.

As of Saturday afternoon, there are 7,138 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 6,656 considered recovered.

There are 44 people in hospital, with six of those in ICU.