Candy chutes, scavenger hunts planned by Kingston families for a COVID-safe Halloween
Candy chutes are being installed at homes in Kingston so trick-or-treaters have a safe Halloween. (Kimberley Johnson/CTV News Ottawa)
KINGSTON -- Trick-or-treating can go ahead in Kingston on Halloween, as long as it is done safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before ghosts and goblins hit the streets on Oct. 31, many residents are thinking up ways for a safe Halloween night.
With only six active COVID-19 cases in the city and the COVID status raised to Green on Friday, the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Unit announced that children and families that felt comfortable could go trick-or-treading next Saturday.
Those like Dan Vokey of Dan Vokey’s Plumbing Company are helping residents trick-or-treat safely, by installing pipes that act as a chute, to help homeowners fill candy bags at a distance.
Vokey says he saw a plumbing company do the same in Toronto, and was inspired.
"All of the major congestion is them passing each other on the steps going up to the house," explains Vokey. "The pipe is literally six feet long, so it gives us that distancing."
Vokey wants to do something nice for the community, adding he will take the pipe back after Halloween.
On Saturday morning, Vokey installed three pipes on front porches. Homeowners say they feel more secure with this unique system.
"We hope we’ll get lots of kids who’ll get lots of candy through our chute," laughs Teagan McLaren.
"I’ll have a fog machine, it’ll be foggy, not too spooky," says Greg Losier of his plans. "Be able to launch the treats down the tube. I think I have more fun than the kids do on Halloween."
Kayla Sparks agrees.
"I was setting up no matter what," she explains. "I was iffy on the handing out candy, but this was a perfect idea and it 100 per cent gave me the go ahead to hand out candy this year."
Alexandra Dowker has two daughters; she says they will do a scavenger hunt at home to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our kids doing things in the dark," Dowker says. "So we’re going to have some spooky flashlights, maybe some glow in the dark armbands, and just look for some candy. Maybe inside, maybe outside."
For daughter Harriet, and many other kids, how the candy is handed out is less important, as long as they score a few sweet treats.
"I love all the candy that we get," she laughs.
The Kingston Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Unit released guidelines for a safe Halloween:
- Avoid gatherings with people outside of your household.
- Stay home if you are feeling ill and do not hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.
- Only go out with members of your household.
- Do not go into homes to collect treats - stay outside.
- Both children trick or treating and people handing out candy should wear a face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering and should not be worn over a face covering as it may make it difficult to breathe.
- Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps and remember to line up two metres apart if waiting.
- Avoid touching high-touch surfaces and objects (e.g., doorbells, railings, etc.).
- Whether collecting or handing out treats, wash your hands often and thoroughly, or use hand sanitizer.
- Do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab and consider using tongs or other similar tools to hand out treats.
- Drive safely - children may cross the street without checking for oncoming traffic.