Employees at the 4,000 Tim Hortons outlets across Canada will begin wearing non-surgical masks today in an effort to further limit the spread of COVID-19.

Chief Operating Officer Mike Hancock confirmed the new policy in a written statement provided to CP24 on Wednesday, noting that it is being done to “to protect the health and safety of guests and team members.”

He said that the coffee chain has acquired an “adequate supply of masks” for all employees but he noted that while they are “similar to the surgical masks used in hospitals” they are “manufactured with a different standard” and therefor will not take away from the supply of masks at hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Hancock said that Tim Hortons will also begin to require temperature checks of all employees before they begin their shifts, starting this week. As well acrylic protective shields are now being installed at all front counters and at drive-thrus to “add a layer of protection for everyone,” Hancock said.

“Our restaurant owners have been incredible partners as we’ve moved quickly to implement best practices and pivot as circumstances have changed since the pandemic began,” the statement from Hancock notes.

Public health officials had not initially recommended the wearing of masks to limit the spread of virus but earlier this month Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam amended her earlier advice and said that residents should wear non-surgical masks when they are in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained.