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Edmonton-area malls cancel trick-or-treating due to COVID-19

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Alberta's health minister said voluntary public health measure are on the way for the Edmonton zone, where COVID-19 cases continue to increase. This comes while the City of Edmonton asks Alberta Health to reduce cohort sizes before Thanksgiving. Chris Chacon reports.

It’s a tradition for many kids at Halloween, particularly when it’s cold outside — they head to the mall and trick-or-treat at the local shops.

However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of Edmonton-area malls will not be handing out candy to the little ghosts and goblins this year.

Read more: Coronavirus: Alberta Health issues guidelines for a safe and ‘scary for the right reasons’ Halloween

The Northern Alberta Shopping Centre Association announced this week the following malls will not set up candy stands or allow retailers to hand out candy this Halloween:

  • Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre
  • Edmonton City Centre
  • Kingsway Mall
  • Londonderry Mall
  • Premium Outlet Collection, Edmonton International Airport
  • Sherwood Park Mall
  • St. Albert Centre

Read more: Voluntary public health measures coming for Edmonton zone amid rise in COVID-19 cases: Alberta health minister

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The association said the decision was made after careful discussion and review of the recently released Alberta Health guidelines for Halloween.

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“When we talked about how we can best support our communities at Halloween this year, safety was the number one concern,” said Tammy Abbott, vice president of the Northern Alberta Shopping Centre Association.

“It was clear that if we want families to be able to safely celebrate Halloween the best way to do that is, as Alberta Health guidelines suggest, outside in their neighbourhoods.

“It is a little unfortunate because all of these centres have so much Halloween spirit, but this year, we’re asking everyone to follow the guidelines set out by Alberta Health that give us a great framework on how to have a safe Halloween outdoors.”

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Abbott said many of the malls plan to come up with other creative ways to show their Halloween spirit.

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West Edmonton Mall also confirmed that trick-or-treating will not happen this year.

“For the safety of our guests and employees, and in following with AHS Halloween guidelines, the trick-or-treat activities within West Edmonton Mall will be suspended for 2020,” read a statement from the mall.

“In lieu of trick or treating, guests are invited to attend Halloween events in the World Waterpark and Galaxyland. Professor WEM’s Adventure Golf and WEM’s PhotoShoppe area will also be fully decked out with Halloween décor, creating the perfect spooky photo opportunity.”

For more information about the mall’s Halloween activities, visit WEM’s website.