Maritimers will once again have a Halloween complicated by COVID-19
As the month of October quickly comes to a close, Maritimers will once again be celebrating a Halloween complicated by COVID-19. As confirmed case numbers continue to rise in New Brunswick, some people are left wondering if the usual traditions will be able to go forward.
Christine Murray has been covering her Moncton home in spooky Halloween decor for more than a decade.
In past years, she's had more than 500 kids come to her door for the haunted holiday, but with the total number of active cases currently in the hundreds, she's unsure what to expect this year.
"We're obviously hoping that Halloween is going to be a go, but we completely understand if it isn't. We are definitely not in a space of where we want to be," said Murray, standing in front of hundreds of decorations, taking up every available inch of her front lawn.
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have both given the green light for those looking to trick-or-treat on the 31st of the month. Each province has released a set of COVID-19 safety guidelines to be followed the night of.
Prince Edward Island's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Heather Morrison, outlined some of those recommendations during a briefing Tuesday.
"Similar to last year, door-to-door trick-or-treating can take place with precautions. Children should visit people they know in their neighbourhood or apartment building, communal treat bowls should be avoided, and no-contact treat pick-up options are recommended," said Morrison.
A spokesperson for New Brunswick public health says no formal guidance has been developed for the province to date.
In an email to CTV News Atlantic, Bruce MacFarlane, who is the director of communications for the department, says the province is asking people to plan their route in advance, limit trick-or-treating to one neighbourhood, and keep track of what homes were visited.
But, with parts of the province still under circuit-breaker measures, that could change.
Moncton's Magnetic Hill Zoo says they're cautiously optimistic they'll be able to hold their annual Halloween fundraiser this year. The event had to be cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time. This year, the family-friendly event is set to take place the last two weekends in October.
"The ever-changing restrictions are really hard on the head. It's very challenging planning-wise and it can be very challenging to remain positive and to learn how to make the best of whatever level of restrictions we have," said Cathy Simon, the zoo's visitor and education programs co-ordinator.
The uncertainty surrounding the night hasn't stopped some from preparing for it.
Sabrina Lackie and her family spent the day picking out decorations and a costume for her five-year-old son.
"I don't think we should ruin the fun for the children essentially because they look forward to trick-or-treating every year, and I don't think we should take that away from them," said Lackie.