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Hands covered and cleaned for Halloween

Halloween is around the corner and the health department has issued guidelines for Yellowknifers who are planning on donning a costume and grabbing some candy.

Wearing mittens throughout the evening, approaching houses one at a time and keeping interactions brief are some of the recommendations in the GNWT’s newly issued COVID-19 Halloween guidelines.

The health department also encourages people to wash their hands frequently and reminds those who are self-isolating they cannot participate in Halloween festivities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time, especially when it has created barriers to social interaction, particularly for young people in the NWT,” Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services, said in a press release. “Being able to celebrate Halloween is important for our territory’s social and mental well-being.”

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“While Halloween will look a little bit different this year, I know our territory is resilient and creative and I look forward to seeing how families, friends, and especially kids bring that creativity to life, while keeping each other safe during our first pandemic Halloween.”

Indoor events like Haunted Houses are still permitted, as long as they don’t exceed the 25 person capacity maximum for indoor events, and social distancing is maintained. Hay River RCMP cancelled their annual Spook-A-Rama event last month, due to COVID-19 safety concerns.

With Thanksgiving on Monday and Halloween at the end of this month, holidays, where large gatherings are common, are coming thick and fast.

A majority of the 150 new hirings for the Covid secretariat are enforcement and protection officers, according to the GNWT Department of Finance.

Dennis Marchiori, head of the COVID-19 enforcement team, said officers won’t necessarily be stepping up enforcement efforts, preferring to educate residents on health orders first. 

“We like to get education out first to all our residents, after which we may look at enforcement,” he said.

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