Trick-or-treating given the go-ahead in Renfrew County
ARNPRIOR -- Little ones and parents in Renfrew County will be happy to know that the region's health unit has given the green light to trick-or-treating on Halloween.
"We’re saying yes at this point to trick or treating," says Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Cushman.
He’s hoping that with Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, families will be able to spread out their door knocking throughout the day.
"We’re hoping the weather is good and Saturday will give people an opportunity to start earlier," said Dr. Cushman.
The Renfrew County and District Health Unit is asking for a bit of extra effort from those who do plan to participate in Halloween this coming weekend though. Dr. Cushman says those children trick-or-treating should wear a mask even if they are already wearing a Halloween mask, "I would think actually it’s best to wear a COVID mask and then put your Halloween mask over it."
Families are also asked to stay close to their homes and not trick-or-treat outside their neighbourhoods, only venture out in small groups with people close to you, and knock on doors instead of ringing door bells. Frequent hand washing and sanitization is encouraged after interacting with high touch surfaces.
Rainner Bouret lives in Arnprior and still plans to take out his three young boys door-to-door.
"Very limited, not the same as every other year," says Bouret. "Probably we’re going to do 25 to 30 percent."
Bouret has also given some thought as to how his house will pass out candy, claiming to live on the most popular street in Arnprior for trick-or-treaters. "We already bagged them to have them at least two weeks in quarantine, nobody touching them. We planned it out that it’s going to be 14 days on Oct. 31."
"If those giving out the candy can make sure it’s even in their front yard, away from their porch, and really be careful with certain standards," advises Dr. Cushman. "Distancing, maybe have little packages out at certain times.”
In the town of Renfrew, Barry Dubeau already has his set up ready to go for Oct. 31, with a table set up blocking his front path from his porch. "We’ll have this table covered, and the children will be coming here, and we’ll be passing out candy or putting them on the table."
To avoid any unnecessary contact, Dubeau says he and his wife will be passing out candy using tongs. "Should be safe enough," says Dubeau. "We get a lot of small ones."
One thing the Renfrew County and District Health Unit has ruled out though is any type of Halloween soirée.
"We’re saying a definitive no to parties, to big get togethers, inside or out," says Dr. Cushman.