Media Release: Town of Smiths Falls urges citizens to follow public health guidelines and stay safe this Halloween
October 24, 2020
The Town of Smiths Falls is urging citizens who are considering taking part in Halloween activities or trick-or-treating to follow public health guidelines and stay safe.
While it is not encouraged, celebrating Halloween is permitted this year in most parts of Ontario, however citizens must use their judgment to ensure public health protocols are followed in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“Families in Smiths Falls are understandably wondering whether or not they should be going out trick-or-treating this year. This is a different year than any others, and no one wants to unintentionally contribute to the spread of COVID-19 here in our community,” said Shawn Pankow, Mayor of the Town of Smiths Falls. “Halloween is not an essential activity but for those who do decide to take part it’s important to do so safely while following public health recommendations.”
The province of Ontario has released general guidelines to use when considering participating in Halloween. Recommendations include:
- Avoiding gatherings with people outside your household
- Staying home if you are feeling ill
- Staying home if you are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19
- Staying within your public health region
- Not handing out treats if you are sick, have mild symptoms, or are self-isolating
For those who decide to participate in trick-or-treating activities the following recommendations offer guidelines for how to limit interactions which could contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
- Only go out with members of your own household
- Only trick-or-treat outside
- Wear a face covering if you are trick-or-treating or handing out candy
- Remain two metres apart while trick-or-treating
- Avoid high-touch surfaces
- Wash and sterilize your hands periodically while trick-or-treating
- Be creative when handing out candy to limit contact and opportunities to spread COVID-19
The Leeds Grenville & Lanark Health Unit (LGLHU) suggests citizens celebrate Halloween through alternative methods such as hosting an online costume contest, a scavenger hunt for treats, an online pumpkin carving contest, and more.
For residents who choose not to hand out candy this year, the LGLHU and the province of Ontario have created posters which can be placed in windows or on doors to indicate whether or not the household will be participating in trick-or-treating activities this year.
Posters may be downloaded from the following links:
Province of Ontario poster indicating you will be handing out candy: https://files.ontario.ca/welcometrickortreaters.jpg
Province of Ontario poster indicating you will not be handing out candy: https://files.ontario.ca/sorryseeyounextyear.jpg
LGLHU poster indicating you will not be handing out candy: https://healthunit.org/wp-content/uploads/No_Trick_or_Treating_Poster.pdf
For further information, please contact:
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Smiths Falls
77 Beckwith St. N., Smiths Falls, ON
Phone 613-283-4124 ext. 1104
Town of Smiths Falls
77 Beckwith St N, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2B8
613-283-4124 ext. 1110