Halloween allowed during pandemic

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Ghosts, goblins and witches will be allowed to roam the streets in Alberta on Halloween.

The Alberta government is allowing trick-of-treaters Oct. 31 this year, but only from 3-8 p.m.

The decision meets with approval from McLennan town council.

“They’ve [the children] had enough taken away from them,” said Mayor Michele Fournier at their Oct. 13 meeting.

The matter was brought forward after phone calls to the Town of McLennan office asking if Halloween was occurring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve had a lot of people phone and ask,” said CAO Lorraine Willier.

She added signs were available and could be placed indicating whether or not an individual home welcomed trick-or-treaters.

Councillor Dwayne Stout did not see any problem and/or risk because children stay outside and never came in the house.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” he said.

The Alberta government has provided the following tips:

Trick-or-Treating

  • Don’t go trick-or-treating if feeling ill, even if symptoms are minor;
  • Choose costumes that allow a non-medical mask to be worn underneath – make sure you can see and breathe comfortably;
  • Minimize contact with others: trick-or-treat with your family or cohort, remain within your community, and stay two metres apart;
  • Avoid touching doorbells or railings: call “trick or treat” from two metres away, knock instead of using doorbells, use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces;
  • Wash hands and disinfect packages before eating candy.

Handing out candy

  • Don’t hand out candy if feeling ill or isolating;
  • Wear a non-medical mask that fully covers your nose and mouth;
  • Ask trick-or-treaters to knock or call out instead of ringing the doorbell;
  • Use tongs to hand out pre-packaged candy to avoid handling treats.

Be creative

  • Hand out treats from your driveway or front lawn, if weather permits;
  • Set up a table or desk to help keep yourself distanced
  • Make candy bags and space them out on a table or blanket; don’t leave out self-serve bowls of bulk candy;
  • Build a candy slide, candy catapult or other fun, non-touch delivery methods.

Halloween parties

  • Stay home if feeling ill, even if symptoms are mild;
  • Spend time with people you know – the smaller the group the better;
  • Choose games and activities that don’t use shared items and allows people to stay two metres apart;
  • Don’t share drinks, food, cigarettes, vapes or cannabis;
  • Host your party outdoors, if weather permits. If you must stay indoors reduce your gathering size, choose a location that allows for physical distancing between people from separate families and cohorts, and provide hand sanitizer.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often.

NOTE: Posters to welcome trick-or-treaters can be downloaded and printed from the Government of Alberta’s website at www.gov.ab.ca. Posters advising trick-or-treaters to stay away are also available.

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