Provincial state of emergency, election and Halloween in the time of COVID

The Province of British Columbia has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on October 27 to allow staff to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns and COVID-19 outbreaks.

A provincial declaration of a state of emergency allows the Province to implement provincial emergency measures and allows access to assets that may be necessary to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of an emergency. This is a temporary measure authorized by the Emergency Program Act.

The extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations from B.C.‘s health and emergency management officials. The original declaration was made on March 18, the day after Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, declared a public health emergency.

On July 10, the COVID-19 Related Measures Act came into force, enabling provisions created for citizens and businesses, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to continue as needed should the provincial state of emergency end.

The Provincial Election is scheduled for Saturday, October 24, with advance voting from Thursday, October 15, to Friday, October 23. If you are concerned about voting in person, there is still time to request your mail in voting package by visiting or by phoning Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683 no later than 8 p.m. Saturday, October 17. For more information on how to vote safely, click here.

With Halloween around the corner, the BC Centre for Disease Control has released guidance to support a safe, healthy and fun Halloween. Many Creston residents are beginning to plan their scary celebrations, to help inform your planning, please review the BCCDC’s suggestions:

Celebrate less socially and trick-or-treat locally this Halloween!

  • Skip Halloween parties this year
  • Trick or treating in small groups can be a safe and a fun activity
  • Get creative in making space when handing out treats

No matter how you celebrate Halloween this year…

  • Turn off your porch light and stay at home if you are sick or self-isolating.
  • Try including a non-medical mask or face covering as part of your costume.
  • Costume masks should not be worn over non-medical masks or face coverings as that may make it difficult to breathe.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.
  • Skip Halloween parties this year
  • Leave the parties behind.
  • Indoor gatherings, big or small, put people at higher risk of getting COVID-19.
  • Celebrate with your favourite Halloween movie or other traditions that you can do with your household or social group.
  • If you host or attend a small party, keep it within your social group — Stick to six.
  • You should know everyone who attends, no plus ones.

Follow these guidelines for safer celebrations.

  • Don’t pass around snacks, drinks, smokes, tokes, and vapes
  • Be more outside, than inside. Keep your space well-ventilated with windows open.
  • Avoid using props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
  • Be careful with hand sanitizer and open flames – hand sanitizer is very flammable!
  • Trick-or-treating can be done safely by following these tips:
  • Respect homes by staying away if the lights are out.
  • Keep to your local neighbourhood this year.
  • Avoid trick-or-treating in busy areas or indoors, in places like malls, since there may not be enough space to distance. Indoor spaces may require a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • Trick-or-treat in a small social group, stick to six people.
  • Leave space between you and other groups to reduce crowding on stairs and sidewalks.
  • Wash your hands before you go out, when you get home, and before eating treats.
  • Keep hand sanitizer with you if eating treats on the go.
  • You don’t need to clean every treat. You should instead wash your hands after handling treats and not touch your face.

Get creative handing out treats

  • Use tongs, a baking sheet or make a candy slide to give more space when handing out candy.
  • Plan to hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl.
  • Only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats.
  • Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose and mouth when handing out treats.
  • Be more outside, than inside. If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats. Then kids won’t need to touch the door or doorbell.
  • If you’re unable to sit outside to hand out treats, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, handrails, and any other high touch surface often during the evening
  • If you are decorating, avoid props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
  • Help make trick-or-treating more accessible to everyone by handing out treats from the bottom of your stairs or at your curb-side.