LAC LA BICHE - "At this point, there are no plans on cancelling Halloween."
Lac La Biche County Coun. Lorin Tkachuk voiced council's stance on conversations about the Oct. 31 event in the face of COVID-19 fears.
In recent weeks, communities across Canada have been facing questions, backlash and concern over the handling of Halloween events. Some municipalities have created bylaws restricting Halloween events. In Lac La Biche County, says Mayor Omer Moghrabi, the plan is to continue with all Halloween activities — in accordance with protocols set out by the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health.
"We will continue to follow the recommendations of Dr. (Deena) Hinshaw," says Moghrabi.
The most recent daily update on COVID-related information that included Halloween details was on Oct. 1, where Hinshaw outlined some recommended ground-rules for a safe Halloween during the pandemic. She suggested that trick-or-treating should be done within cohorts or families. She also recommends that groups stay within their own communities.
Non-medical mask should still be be worn under Halloween masks, and people should maintain a minimum distance of two-metres by finding unique methods to distribute treats. The province has created a website with Halloween guidelines and resources for residents. A link to the site can be found in the digital version of this story at www.lakelandtoday.ca.
In the Lac La Biche region, a community Halloween event continues to be promoted at the Bold Center. The annual Spooktacular event will be held at the Bold Center on Oct. 25. The free event is set to run from 1:30 to 4 p.m. with pre-registration "due to COVID-19 safety measures."
If the provincial health officials change their recommendations, then municipal leaders will have to address it, says Tkachuk — but for right now, "there is not going to be a bylaw over and above any other recommendation," he said.