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Hinshaw offers COVID-safe tips for Halloween

COVID numbers continue to fall in St. Albert
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An Oct. 24 update from the province shows St. Albert's active COVID cases have fallen below 100 to 85. SCREENSHOT/Photo

Active cases of COVID-19 have dropped below 100 in St. Albert this week. The province reported 85 active cases of the virus and no new deaths in the city, as of Oct. 24.

Province-wide total active COVID cases have fallen below 10,000. The province is reporting a total of 9,481 active cases of the virus.

Data from Oct. 24 shows 821 people are hospitalized with COVID and 182 of those people are in ICU.

Another 75 Albertans lost their lives to COVID this week. The province is reporting 3,051 deaths due to the virus.

Vaccination rates have increased slightly this week. In St. Albert, 91.7 per cent of people age 12 and up have had at least one dose of the vaccine, while 87.7 per cent of those age 12 and up are fully vaccinated.

Province-wide rates show 86.6 per cent of those age 12 and up have had at least one dose of the vaccine, and 78.9 per cent of those are fully vaccinated.

The seven-day average for per-cent positivity has dropped to 6.41 per cent.

Halloween is coming up this weekend and chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw offered tips for families to keep Halloween safe during an Oct. 21 press conference.

It is important, she said, for anyone who is sick to stay home and refrain from handing out candy, even if symptoms are mild.

Trick-or-treaters should wear non-surgical masks and only go with members from their own households.

“Sanitize your hands often — especially before eating treats — and keep your distance from others,” she said.

Hinshaw also recommends wearing a mask while handing out treats and using tongs or setting treats out on a blanket or tray for contactless pickup. She recommends not using a bowl if leaving treats out.

“Second, this is not the year for large Halloween parties,” she said.

Outdoor Halloween gatherings are limited to 20 people and social distancing of two metres between members of different households must be observed.

Indoor Halloween gatherings are limited to the fully vaccinated and no more than 10 people from two households are able to gather under current public-health restrictions.

As of Oct. 25, anyone who is accessing businesses in the Restrictions Exemption Program will need to provide proof of full vaccination.

Proof must be government-issued and show that the individual received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days before trying to access a REP business.

Patrons can also show results from a privately-paid-for negative COVID test taken within 72 hours. If an individual has a valid medical exemption, that can also be used.

The REP program was brought in on Sept. 20 to allow businesses such as restaurants, movies, and sporting events to operate without capacity or operating restrictions. However, masking is still required at these businesses.

Businesses or entities required for daily living do not have a vaccine mandate.