If you're low on mask supplies and afraid of going out without one, the province has you covered — literally. In an update, officials announced there will soon be a bunch of masks in Alberta up for grabs. Even better, they'll be giving them out for free.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney made the announcement during his daily update on Wednesday, May 14.

"The larger public program for masks will begin at the end of the month," he explained.

There's a great deal of non-medical masks coming to Alberta soon, he added, and the government is planning to give them out to the 4.4 million people in Alberta.

Non-medical masks, like reuseable cloth masks, haven't been proven to protect the wearer. But, it might still protect others around them.

"We have 40 million on order that we expect to receive in a couple of weeks," Kenney continued.

That's approximately nine masks for every single person in Alberta.

The premier added that they'll be announcing more details of a "distribution program" a little closer to that date.

"Now let me be clear," he added. "There's no way that we can provide free masks to 4.4 million Albertans for every day indefinitely."

"It's impossible to get that much product," he said. These are just a limited amount of masks that they'll be distributing to the public "for the foreseeable future."

Alberta's public mask program has two stages, Kenney explained.

The first stage has been in effect since the start of the pandemic — to provide medical masks to essential service workers. They've given workers over 2,600,000 procedural masks so far.

Stage two is free masks for the public, an effort which is currently ongoing.


"The masks are in addition to health and safety measures, not a replacement for," Alberta provincial health officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw added.

"Even if someone is wearing a mask, it's still really important to try and maintain that distancing as much as possible."

In Ontario, locals are already being urged to wear face coverings wherever possible, and it looks like similar moves could be on the cards in Alberta.

The non-medical mask plan has been in the works for a while now, after Kenney first announced it on Monday, April 6.

Now the program is almost ready to start, and we can all begin rocking these masks soon enough.

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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