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Ontario government advises Peel residents to stay safe and remain home for Halloween

October 22, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By ALYSSA PARKHILL

LOCAL JOURNALISM INITIATIVE REPORTER

The conversation on what Halloween will look like this year in Caledon has been in the air for weeks. With only nine days to go until the holiday, the provincial government has reached out to the public with some safety tips for trick or treaters, while encouraging residents in Phase 2 areas to stay home on Halloween night. 

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams made a statement on Monday (Oct 19), detailing public health advice for families who wish to go forward with the festivities.

“As Ontarians begin to prepare for Halloween this year, I’d like to remind everyone to take extra precautions to ensure you are keeping yourself and your family safe,” said the statement.

Due to Peel, Toronto, Ottawa and, most recently, York being pulled back into a modified Stage 2, public health is recommending that families celebrate at home, rather than engaging in door-to-door trick or treating, although they have stopped short of enacting a strict stay-at-home order. 

Alternative ways of celebration have been encouraged including kids and families dressing up and joining in virtual activities, a Halloween candy hunt within the household, pumpkin carving, movie night with scary movies and decorating your front lawn with spooky decorations. 

The Town of Caledon is following the advice from Peel Public Health and encouraging families to celebrate at home this Halloween, but if celebrating outside of immediate household, to make sure residents are following the proper safety measures. 

“As always our actions are guided by the guidelines, we receive from Peel Public Health and for this year the key message is ‘Enjoy Halloween at a distance,’” said Tony Maxwell, Communications Advisor. “Celebrate safely at home by tuning into virtual costume parades in the community and stay connected by sharing photos of your costumes.”

Ontarians are also being encouraged to stay confined within your household, and staying home and isolating if feeling ill. 

Regions that are not within the COVID-19 hotspots, are to trick-or-treat only with members of the household, remaining outdoors during the festivities, face coverings are mandatory for those trick-or-treating as well as residents handing out candy. 

“I would also like to remind everyone that we are in a second wave of COVID-19. There have been increases in cases in many areas across the province, and the percentage of people tested who get a positive result is going up,” said Dr. Williams. 

To keep the spooky spirit, many events have been organized around Caledon so Halloween will continue to be celebrated. 

Knox United Church in Caledon Village is hosting a Caledon Village Halloween Photo Countdown, and is encouraging Halloween themed artwork or pictures to be submitted where they will be displayed on the community website page. Furthermore, beginning on Oct 22, randomly selected photos will be displayed on the church’s outdoor sign. 

Caledon Public Library will be hosting a virtual Halloween costume party at 7 p.m. on Halloween evening for children up to age 12 to celebrate and show off their costumes. Prizes will also be given out at the end of the event. Learn more at cpl.social/halloweencostumeparty. 

Cody’s Cows located in Erin, is hosting social distancing haunted hayrides for groups of six people to book times, and enjoy a hayride with members of your family.

Peel Public Health Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh spoke to Caledon Council regarding Halloween, and though the difficulty of not participating in the traditional trick-or-treating, he agrees with province’s recommendation for families to stay home. 

“I recognize and support out of an abundance of caution, not only for the activity of trick-or-treating itself, but more for the broader concerns around people coming together, congregation, the possibility of people entering households. The higher risk activities that may be associated with the course of trick or treating” he said. 

He added, “there’s a lot that COVID-19 has taken out of this year, unfortunately Halloween is not the only one.” 



         

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