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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Trick or COVID?

Health officials: Be coronavirus-safe

Keith Vandervort
Posted 10/21/20

REGIONAL - Halloween is going to look a little different this year during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but there are still safe ways to have a fun spooky season in the age of COVID-19.The …

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Trick or COVID?

Health officials: Be coronavirus-safe

Posted

REGIONAL - Halloween is going to look a little different this year during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but there are still safe ways to have a fun spooky season in the age of COVID-19.
The Minnesota Department of Health recommends families celebrate at home with members of their own household by carving pumpkins, watching a scary movie, or decorating a scary space.
MDH officials recommend celebrating Halloween safely this year to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by choosing activities with lower risk.
• Celebrate at home with family. Carve or decorate pumpkins. Have a Halloween movie night with treats.
• Celebrate outside with family, neighbors, and friends. Hold a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt or a virtual Halloween costume contest.
• No-contact neighborhood trick-or-treating. Put treats in individual goodie bags and place them at the end of your driveway or at the edge of your yard for families to grab and go.
• Conduct an outdoor costume party or haunted forest.
• Visit pumpkin patches or orchards. Use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples.
• Avoid trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go from door to door and costume parties or haunted houses held indoors.
• Avoid “trunk-or-treating” where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
• Avoid hayrides and fall festivals with people who do not live with you.
Ely activities
The Ely Community Resource is hosting Pumpkins in the Park on Friday, Oct. 30 at Whiteside Park. Families can register for a free pumpkin to carve and contribute to decoration of a winding path through the park
“This alternative Halloween celebration allows for children to show off their Halloween costumes and admire dozens of carved and lit pumpkins,” said ECR Director Julie Hignell. “Social distancing guidelines will be in place, and protective face masks are encouraged.”
According to ECR organizers, jack-o-lanterns will be lit at 4 p.m. on Oct. 30 for pre-K to second grade children to wander along the path to the band shell where they can pose for pictures in their Halloween costumes. Older children, grades 3-5, will arrive from 5-6 p.m. to do the same. Those children in sixth grade and up are invited from 6-7 p.m.
To reserve a pumpkin to carve, and for more information, call ECR at 218-365-5254. Pick up pumpkins at the ECR office, 111 S. Fourth Ave., on Friday, Oct. 23. Return carved jack-o-lanterns to ECR on Thursday, Oct. 29. This event is supported by the Northland Foundation.
Carefree Living and Boundary Waters Care Center invite all families to visit residents at the facility’s windows after the event for more safe Halloween fun.
The annual Halloween “Trunk or Treat” celebration will be held in Whiteside Park on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 2-5 p.m. The alternative activity to house-to-house trick-or-treating is sponsored by Northern Tier National High Adventure.
“While we understand that COVID-19 presents some challenges to Halloween this year, we want to make sure that Ely’s youth are able to get outside and enjoy this holiday,” said organizer Leslie Thibodeaux on a Facebook post.
If you plan to host a trunk, let the organization know so they can plan and space out accordingly. For more information, email leslie.thibodeaux@scouting.org.
COVID-19 precautions in place for the activity:
• Organizers ask that families please practice social distancing while at the event. They will have the various trunks spread out with greater distance between each.
• Some activities may not be available due to inability to properly sanitize between groups, but each trunk will have treats.
• Individuals working the trunks/activities will be required to wear masks. Participants also are asked to wear masks when possible.
• Curbside pick-up will be available for those who feel uncomfortable participating in the activities. The curbside pickup will be located near the band shell on 8th Ave. Just pull up to the curb near the table and a Northern Tier staff member will hand you goodie bags for the youth in your vehicle.
The annual Washington Elementary Halloween Vocabulary Parade is canceled this year due to public health concerns.
Tower
While Halloween plans have been scaled back this year due to safety concerns, there will still be trick-or-treating on Tower’s Main Street after school on Friday, Oct. 30 from approximately 3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Participating businesses will be handing out treats outdoors only, while following safety measures, so children should not go inside any of the businesses. The Tower Fire Department has canceled the annual children’s party, but instead will be passing out special treats to children from a fire truck parked on Main Street on Friday afternoon during this time also.
Tower-Soudan Elementary students will be holding costume parties inside their classrooms, but there will be no schoolwide Halloween celebration this year.
Cook
The Cook Lions Club will not be holding its annual indoor Halloween party for kids, but will still celebrate the day by handing out bags of candy from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 at the Cook Community Center.
The candy is single wrapped and bags were assembled Oct. 15 to ensure sufficient time for virus protection. Patrons are asked to stay in their cars as they drive through the parking lot to collect their candy.

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