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FCSS keeps Halloween spirit going in Fort Macleod

Fort Macleod children can experience Halloween fun in a safe way this year, even with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging.

Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) has arranged three activities this week to celebrate Halloween, in keeping with public health measures.

Free candy, pumpkin displays and a decorated house contest will keep the Halloween spirit alive in Fort Macleod.

That’s exactly what chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw wants from Albertans.

“I know that many Albertans eagerly anticipate this day,” Hinshaw said. “The fun of finding the right costume and going out trick or treating is part of the joy of childhood.”

Last year at Halloween there were about 5,600 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta.

Right now, there are more than 11,000 active cases. There are more than 900 COVID-19 patients in hospital now, compared to 141 last year.

“This Halloween we can still have fun, but please do it in a safe way,” Hinshaw said.

Fort Macleod’s traditional community Halloween party at the community hall is cancelled for the second straight year.

Public health measures restrict the size of indoor social gatherings.

To ensure children still get treats, FCSS staff will hand out candy bags from 1-4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29 at the G.R. Davis Administration Building.

People dressed in costumes can also enter a draw for prizes.

FCSS is also co-ordinating Pumpkins in Centennial park.

People can drop off their carved pumpkins at the FCSS office prior to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. The pumpkins will then be displayed after 7 p.m. at Centennial Park on Saturday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 31.

FCSS is also encouraging people to decorate their homes for Halloween and register at 403-553-4491 for judging and the chance to win prizes.

Hinshaw said that Halloween joy can be maintained this year by following these safety tips:

  • If you are sick, stay home, and do not hand out candy.
  • Do not hold large Halloween parties.
  • If you are planning a Halloween gathering, try to have it outdoors and limit attendance to just 20 people.
  • Indoor social gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people from two households for those who are fully immunized.
  • Indoor social gatherings of people who are not vaccinated are not permitted.
  • Trick or treaters should wear non-medical masks and go only with household members.
  • Sanitize your hands often, especially before eating treats, and maintain social distance.
  • People handing out treats should wear masks and limit contact with others.

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