How to celebrate Halloween safely during COVID-19



“Keep it local, keep it small"

A message from Dr. Shannon McDonald, FNHA Acting Chief Medical OfficerDr-Shannon-McDonald.jpg

Every year, Halloween is a fun-filled finale to October that delights children and adults alike. However, many people have been asking whether celebrating this tradition can be done safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The answer is that people can participate in Halloween, but as with nearly everything else in 2020, we need to take some precautions and make some adjustments.

As Dr. Bonnie Henry announced this week, it is still possible for children to trick-or-treat safely as long as recommendations are followed. We ask that children stay with their bubble in their local neighbourhood and trick-or-treat in very small groups. Ideally, there would one guardian for one or two children as your group (to a maximum of six people) travels around your own block while maintaining physical distancing from others. Following are more tips:

If you and your children will be trick-or-treating:

 Don't go out in a large group, and definitely avoid crowded trick-or-treating areas— where many people are gathered, there is a “super spreader" risk.

 Do incorporate a mask into your child's costume. There are many ways to use a mask while letting Halloween-costume-making creativity shine.

 Don't let your child dig into bowls of loose candy. You don't want them touching things that may also be touched by many other people.

 Do bring hand sanitizer – and use it frequently.

 Don't crowd a doorway with other trick-or-treaters. Have your children wait their turn to walk to the house so that they can practise safe physical distancing.

If you're handing out candy to trick-or-treaters:

 Do have a table set up with pre-arranged candy so children can grab what they need without reaching into a bowl. If possible, set up closer to the road and not at your doorway.

 Don't give out any candy that isn't packaged.

• ​Do get creative in thinking of ways to hand out candy while practising safe physical distancing. You may be able to use a small bag of candy at the end of a hockey stick or a pole.

 Don't give out candy if you're not feeling well. Stay inside!

Halloween parties:

Please skip the parties this year. Indoor gatherings, whether large or small, put people at unnecessary risk of contracting COVID-19. Instead, watch a spooky movie, decorate your house, or participate in a social gathering online.​

If you do hold a party, keep it small and keep it in your bubble (with six people maximum):

 Don't let people drop in, even if it might seem rude.

 Do follow the BC Centre for Disease Control recommendations on hosting safer celebrations and ceremonies.

 Don't pass around snacks, drinks, smokes or vapes.

 Do avoid any Halloween decorations or props (like smoke machines) that could cause people to cough.

To keep yourself, your family and your community safe, always follow the COVID-19 safety guidelines. Have a safe and happy Halloween! ​

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