The province is expanding its free non-medical mask program, as another 20 million masks have been shipped to municipalities across Alberta.

In June, the government partnered with A&W, McDonald’s, and Tim Hortons to distribute the non-medical masks at no cost through their drive-thru locations across Alberta. Health Minister Tyler Shandro says the masks will now be available over the counter at participating restaurant locations as well.

Shandro adds they are also doubling down on the number of masks available to the public per trip.

“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.

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

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says with the new influx of masks becoming available, the onus is on residents across the province to do their part in keeping the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum by wearing them 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.

Several areas of southern Alberta reported new COVID-19 cases over the weekend.

Numbers released from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday show a combined three-day total of 25 new cases in the South Zone of Alberta Health Services among the 230 reported province-wide.

Lethbridge’s total cases jumped by five over the weekend and Lethbridge County went up by two.

There are now 13 active cases in the city and eight in the county.

The MD of Taber and County of Warner each reported two new cases over the weekend as well.