Halloween festivities may require an appointment

VJH has a Friday morning plan!


The province has issued new rules for Halloween celebrations including how to trick or treat. But local schools are playing safe. With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, Mary Montgomery and Goulter K-4 schools in Virden are taking the opportunity to bow out of having anything that would go beyond their classroom activities.

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Elementary school students in Goulter’s K - Gr. 4 school have often visited seniors’ residences, but this year, Goulter Principal Will Noseworthy says “We’re scaling back.” Indoor visits by schools aren’t allowed at seniors’ facilities this year and the weather is too uncertain for an outdoor costume parade. So, the usual Halloween visit won’t take place.

Virden Junior High school will be holding their regular excellence assembly via a ZOOM for viewers; this Friday at 9 a.m. There will also be a school photographer snapping photos.

“We are presenting one grade at a time in the gym,” says Principal Don Nahachewsky. “The students are encouraged to dress up.”

Government recommendations

If you are wondering about handing out those sugary treats this coming Saturday, well, here's what the Manitoba government is saying as of Monday, but keep in mind things could change.

Treat and Activities

Provide individual contactless candy distribution. Use tools (e.g. tongs) to distribute candy at a distance.

Provide individual bags, avoid self-service (common candy bowl)

Give wrapped, store-bought treats only

Indoor or mall-based trick-or-treating is permitted where physical distancing is maintained and shared contact items are eliminated.

No bobbing for apples this year. Physical distancing must be maintained along with sanitization and crowd numbers in accordance with store/event protocol. Take the COVID-19 self-screening test and absolutely stay home if you are sick or don’t pass the screening test.

A great activity would be pumpkin carving and decorating IF individual pumpkins and tools are provided, hand hygiene and physical distancing are practiced and current gathering size restrictions are followed.

A costume parade works, where physical distancing can be maintained.

Haunted Houses/Ghost Tours/Corn Mazes/Pumpkin Patches may be permitted, depending on local restrictions under current public health orders and the Pandemic Response System.

However, guidelines must be followed:

·         Everyone including organizers/staff must self-screen for symptoms

·         Stay away if you are sick

·         Hand sanitize

·         Maintain distancing

·         Keep attendance within guidelines

·         Contactless payment preferred

·         Disinfect surfaces regularly

There is even a suggestion that haunted houses etc. be attended on an appointment basis.

But things could change, so be aware of the latest public health orders/Pandemic Response, which may limit or restrict these activities. Check with the website https://manitoba.ca/covid19/halloween.

© Virden Empire-Advance