BREAKING: The Alberta government is increasing access to medical masks, and partnering with A&W, McDonalds and Tim Hortons. You can go to the drive-thrus and obtain four masks per visit. #yyc #yeg #ableg
The gov't has ordered 20 million masks for distribution, beginning in early June. Every Albertan can get four masks for themselves.
Province also working out ways to distribute masks to people who don't have as easy access to these fast food restaurants. Official distribution launch date will come soon. Meanwhile, you are encouraged to find and use your own non-medical masks.
They can't give masks to everyone, though, and this should be considered a supplement to your own supply.
Also, latertoday we will be hearing an update on expanded testing for asymptomatic Albertans. Sounds like it will be during the Dr. Hinshaw update this afternoon.
Some questions, @CBCRaffy asks what other methods they looked at. Health Minister Shandro says these three restaurants have access to 95% of Albertans. Distribution cost is also low through this method ($350k)
Province just has to figure out how to get that last five per cent serviced.
Raffy asks a followup on the state of emergency not being renewed. Shandro says final decision will be made next week at the emergency management committee. Shandro says he and Kenney speak to Dr. Hinshaw every day, and termination of state of emergency is up to Lt. Gov.
. @CTVchrisepp asks about how we plan for another pandemic in the next few years, stocking up on supplies now? Shandro says they have started these conversations, can look at stockpiling ventilators and PPE so the supply chain is more localized.
Followup about mandating vaccinations down the road, similar to other public health orders issued here. Shandro says they won't be mandating vaccinations, won't really speak to hyptoheticals about other diseases. "Something this government is not interested in."
Question about these masks, are they single use? What quality? Non medical and triple layer, but only single use. Directions are available on the province's website as well as in the package you would be given containing them.
Shandro says they aren't taking away any PPE from frontline workers. But as a followup, is four even enough if they're only single use? Shandro says they can't give an unlimited supply to Albertans but COVID is something we will have to live with for a long time.
Question about the state of emergency again, Shandro says a lot would have to change for them to extend the state of emergency. Numbers looking good enough for them to call it off in mid-June.
Question about the numbers, Kenney previously said they have 40 million masks. There's two shipments, said Shandro. This is the first 20 million, and Shandro says they want to get these ones out ASAP to 600+ stores. Hopefully the other 20 million get here soon.
How do you limit the amount of masks people take? Shandro says this about the honour system. So yes, you could just roll through and pick up a bunch of packages, claiming they're for your whole family. Shandro thinks Albertans can be trusted.
And that's a wrap folks.
Shandro also showed the package that would be given out. Plastic wrapping around the four masks, so they aren't being handled directly by anyone else.
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