Follow COVID-19 recommendations while trick-or-treating: health officials

Click to play video: 'Follow COVID-19 recommendations while trick-or-treating: health officials' Follow COVID-19 recommendations while trick-or-treating: health officials
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there's no doubt Halloween night will look a bit different this year. Taz Dhaliwal has some health and safety reminders and also speaks with the owner of a well-known haunted house on how it is keeping the local Halloween spirit alive – Oct 29, 2020

It’s that time of year again, when things get spooky and kids get all dressed up to hit the streets for some long-awaited treats, but health officials are still reminding everyone to stay vigilant and follow COVID-19 guidelines.

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

Alberta Health Services says when it comes to trick-or-treating:

  • Don’t go out if you’re sick, even if symptoms are mild
  • Wear a mask with your costume
  • Minimize contact with others and stay two metres apart
  • Only go with your household or cohort
  • Avoid touching doorbells or railings
  • Disinfect packages before eating candy
  • Wash hands and use hand sanitizer

Carrie and John Kerber are known for putting up a spectacular haunted house every year with dozens of skeletons and other decorations scattered across their front lawn.

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Read more: Pincher Creek’s Pioneer Village offers socially-distanced Halloween fun

Over the years, the house has been taken over by a Pirates of the Caribbean theme, since the film series is Carrie Kerber’s favourite.

Kerber says with COVID-19, it’s especially nice to carve out some much-needed time for Halloween festivities this year.

“I believe Halloween spirit is always important. This time of year gives us a chance to be someone else, to be who we want to be and [it’s] a time to have fun.

“Right now, fun is really important, just to lift our spirits, the Halloween spirit. If the house helps do it, then great,” she added.

Read more: The origins of ‘Trick or Treat’: Lethbridge home to a piece of Halloween history

It’s also a tradition they’ve enthusiastically kept up with for nearly three decades.

“We’re both big lovers of Halloween. We put up a graveyard, the skeletons, then we had a haunted house and the skeletons fighting,” she explained.

“Then when pirates came on the scene, we said, ‘Can we build a pirate ship?’ and we’re like, ‘Why not?’ so, it’s been pirates ever since,” she said.

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Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Hinshaw asks younger Albertans to reconsider Halloween parties or follow restrictions' COVID-19: Hinshaw asks younger Albertans to reconsider Halloween parties or follow restrictions
COVID-19: Hinshaw asks younger Albertans to reconsider Halloween parties or follow restrictions – Oct 26, 2020

Of course trick-or-treating will look a little different at the Kerber residence this time around.

“As far as changes, we won’t be allowing anyone into the yard this year,” Carrie said.

“We’ll be doing everything on the fence line, so we can do the socially distanced thing, but other than that, it’s Halloween as usual,” she stated.

When it comes to staying safe aside from COVID-19, the police have some tips, such as not trick-or-treating alone, if children are young, they will need to have an adult with them.

For older kids, Const. Shawn Davis with the Lethbridge Police Service would like to remind others that there’s safety in travelling in numbers.

He adds wearing bright clothing to increase visibility is important as well.

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“When you’re in a costume, you’ve got a mask on, don’t be walking into traffic,” Davis said.

“Don’t assume the cars can see you, and also, if you’re driving, don’t assume the kids saw you either,” he stated.

“Take those extra couple of seconds before you cross the road, take those extra couple of seconds before you take those turns in traffic to make sure the kids are all going to be safe.”

At the end of the day, Davis says, what matters most is everyone gets to go home.

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