Huntsville, Halloween and COVID-19: Family keeps eye on stats amid pandemic

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Huntsville resident Jackie Allen says her family is prepared to be flexible for Halloween 2020.

“I have not been one to overreact since the pandemic started. I have been content to see how things go from day to day,” she said. “In regard to Halloween, I will take the same approach as I did when deciding whether to send (my kids) to school.”

Allen, a doctor’s office receptionist and mother of two elementary-school-aged daughters, said she has consistently kept her eye on COVID-19 statistics released by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

She said her family reviewed case counts before sending the girls back to school, though their willingness to wear non-medical masks and eagerness to connect with friends and teachers played a part, too.

“I will keep an eye on COVID cases in Huntsville and, if they are still low, we will definitely be out trick or treating in our neighbourhood,” she said in early September. “I think as long as people are aware of social distancing when out, not crowding doorways, taking turns, etc., that it will be safe.”

She also noted candy, individually wrapped and sealed, was easy to set aside for a few days or disinfect before consumption.

“Worst case, if COVID numbers rise exponentially, and we are unable to hit the streets, our backup plan is to stay home with a small circle of friends and party the night away in our costumes with plenty of creepy decorations and eat treats until our bellies hurt,” she said.

“But my youngest said yesterday that she might go as a surgeon, so she can wear a mask and gloves,” said Allen. “Costumes can provide us with lots of ways to creatively stay safe.”

And Muskoka Heritage Place had already postponed its annual Great Pumpkin Trail Halloween event to 2021.

Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, noted on Sept. 15 the health unit had already received lots of questions about events like Halloween as the COVID-19 crisis continued.

“Halloween, people are worried about it, of course, because of large numbers of children going from door to door, accepting candy from many households. And there is some inherent risk to that,” said Gardner. “Take to heart the need to reduce the contact that you have with people.”

But, in the meantime, he said people handing out candy should consider ways to incorporate physical distancing, like placing a table on their doorstep, while trick-or-treaters and their families should reduce contact with others when out and avoid groups.

STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Halloween has been a hot topic as the COVID-19 era reaches fall 2020, so we reached out to families and the health unit to learn more about plans, promote flexibility and encourage safety.

Huntsville resident Jackie Allen says her family is prepared to be flexible for Halloween 2020.

“I have not been one to overreact since the pandemic started. I have been content to see how things go from day to day,” she said. “In regard to Halloween, I will take the same approach as I did when deciding whether to send (my kids) to school.”

Allen, a doctor’s office receptionist and mother of two elementary-school-aged daughters, said she has consistently kept her eye on COVID-19 statistics released by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

She said her family reviewed case counts before sending the girls back to school, though their willingness to wear non-medical masks and eagerness to connect with friends and teachers played a part, too.

“I will keep an eye on COVID cases in Huntsville and, if they are still low, we will definitely be out trick or treating in our neighbourhood,” she said in early September. “I think as long as people are aware of social distancing when out, not crowding doorways, taking turns, etc., that it will be safe.”

She also noted candy, individually wrapped and sealed, was easy to set aside for a few days or disinfect before consumption.

“Worst case, if COVID numbers rise exponentially, and we are unable to hit the streets, our backup plan is to stay home with a small circle of friends and party the night away in our costumes with plenty of creepy decorations and eat treats until our bellies hurt,” she said.

“But my youngest said yesterday that she might go as a surgeon, so she can wear a mask and gloves,” said Allen. “Costumes can provide us with lots of ways to creatively stay safe.”

And Muskoka Heritage Place had already postponed its annual Great Pumpkin Trail Halloween event to 2021.

Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, noted on Sept. 15 the health unit had already received lots of questions about events like Halloween as the COVID-19 crisis continued.

“Halloween, people are worried about it, of course, because of large numbers of children going from door to door, accepting candy from many households. And there is some inherent risk to that,” said Gardner. “Take to heart the need to reduce the contact that you have with people.”

But, in the meantime, he said people handing out candy should consider ways to incorporate physical distancing, like placing a table on their doorstep, while trick-or-treaters and their families should reduce contact with others when out and avoid groups.

STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Halloween has been a hot topic as the COVID-19 era reaches fall 2020, so we reached out to families and the health unit to learn more about plans, promote flexibility and encourage safety.

Huntsville resident Jackie Allen says her family is prepared to be flexible for Halloween 2020.

“I have not been one to overreact since the pandemic started. I have been content to see how things go from day to day,” she said. “In regard to Halloween, I will take the same approach as I did when deciding whether to send (my kids) to school.”

Allen, a doctor’s office receptionist and mother of two elementary-school-aged daughters, said she has consistently kept her eye on COVID-19 statistics released by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

She said her family reviewed case counts before sending the girls back to school, though their willingness to wear non-medical masks and eagerness to connect with friends and teachers played a part, too.

“I will keep an eye on COVID cases in Huntsville and, if they are still low, we will definitely be out trick or treating in our neighbourhood,” she said in early September. “I think as long as people are aware of social distancing when out, not crowding doorways, taking turns, etc., that it will be safe.”

She also noted candy, individually wrapped and sealed, was easy to set aside for a few days or disinfect before consumption.

“Worst case, if COVID numbers rise exponentially, and we are unable to hit the streets, our backup plan is to stay home with a small circle of friends and party the night away in our costumes with plenty of creepy decorations and eat treats until our bellies hurt,” she said.

“But my youngest said yesterday that she might go as a surgeon, so she can wear a mask and gloves,” said Allen. “Costumes can provide us with lots of ways to creatively stay safe.”

And Muskoka Heritage Place had already postponed its annual Great Pumpkin Trail Halloween event to 2021.

Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, noted on Sept. 15 the health unit had already received lots of questions about events like Halloween as the COVID-19 crisis continued.

“Halloween, people are worried about it, of course, because of large numbers of children going from door to door, accepting candy from many households. And there is some inherent risk to that,” said Gardner. “Take to heart the need to reduce the contact that you have with people.”

But, in the meantime, he said people handing out candy should consider ways to incorporate physical distancing, like placing a table on their doorstep, while trick-or-treaters and their families should reduce contact with others when out and avoid groups.

STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Halloween has been a hot topic as the COVID-19 era reaches fall 2020, so we reached out to families and the health unit to learn more about plans, promote flexibility and encourage safety.

Source: https://www.muskokaregion.com/news-story/10208162-huntsville-halloween-and-covid-19-family-keeps-eye-on-stats-amid-pandemic/

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