Leadership committee asks all to follow protocols during Halloween, hunt season

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MANITOULIN – While the Manitoulin COVID-19 Leadership Co-ordination Committee is in no way saying that Halloween should be cancelled, or that visitors should not be encouraged to come to Manitoulin Island for the annual deer gun hunt season, the committee wants to encourage and promote everyone following all COVID-19 protocols.

The committee met for its 14th session on Tuesday, September 22. As the upcoming flu season approaches, leaders encourage citizens of Manitoulin to follow health authority advice and consider getting the flu shot. 

The committee discussed current events such as the upcoming hunting season, Halloween and the regional travel that is associated with those activities. More information will be distributed in the weeks to come, but as always, citizens are encouraged to keep each other safe.

“What the committee’s feeling is that instead of cancelling Halloween or the hunt season, which we can’t do anyway, that we need to promote everyone following proper (COVID-19) protocols, things like washing your hands regularly, social distancing and using hand sanitizer,” said Patsy Corbiere, a member of the committee and chief of Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation. “And the same for Halloween. A lot of kids go from community to community to get candy on Halloween. Maybe we could all be encouraging kids to stay in their own communities this year for Halloween.”

“We certainly can’t ban Halloween or the hunt season,” said Northeast Town mayor Al MacNevin. “But I know for instance I’ve had a few seniors who have called about Halloween. They want to be able to give out candy to the children but they are concerned about people being at their door and any threat of contracting COVID-19. We will have to look to the health unit to provide guidance on this. But yes, we need to promote everyone taking all precautions they can and to follow COVID-19 protocols to keep everyone safe.” 

As the schools have opened, leaders have noticed that internet connectivity has been sub-optimal, perhaps because of the use of internet for online learning and so many people working from home. This has given leaders the opportunity to discuss the need for better internet access all over the Island. While this issue will take time to address, leaders are going to work together to tackle this issue.