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Will it be sick or treat this Halloween?

Local and provincial focus is on COVID leading to Halloween

Lac La Biche County councillors are expected to be discussing a scary proposition at their upcoming September 22 public meeting; restricting trick-or-treaters from municipal streets this Halloween due to COVID-19 fears.

Lac La Biche County Mayor Omer Moghrabi says there are plans to bring the monster-sized issue to the council table as provincial health officials continue to scare up their own thoughts on the topic.

"I know that Halloween is an important occasion for many people," said Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health at a recent media update, "and it's an occasion that really celebrates our ability to be together in a neighbourhood ... but of course it does depend to a great extent on what our numbers are and our case counts."

Saying that she had received an email from a nine-year old Alberta youngster asking if Halloween would be taking place this year, Hinshaw said it depends mostly on the community.

"The best thing, if you want to have a really enjoyable Halloween, the best thing we can all do is to keep our case counts low and as we always do, look after each other and make sure that we follow public health guidance right now, so we set ourselves up for success and the opportunity to have an enjoyable Halloween."

Moghrabi says any decision to halt Halloween trick-or-treaters on local steets locally would take a municipal bylaw.

"It will be a council decision," said the mayor.

Event advertised

An advertisement inside the municipality's recently released Community Activity Guide, is promoting a Halloween Spooktacular isplanned for October 25 in the Bold Center. The advertiement says the free community event requires pre-registration to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Lac La Biche County currently has no active cases of the coronavirus respiratory virus. There have been recent cases in three municipalities bordering Lac La Biche County. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo currently has 58 active cases. In St. Paul County there are three active cases — the same in the MD of Bonnyville.

While the mayor joked that Halloween night is filled with masks to cover faces, the distribution of candy and treats could be problematic with the virus that can remain on surfaces for several days. Moghrabi expects the discussion will be spirited.