Avoid trick-or-treating: that’s the message the Eastern Ontario Health Unit is pushing two weeks before Halloween. But if you insist on celebrating, the EOHU has a list of tips for families to celebrate the spooky day safely.
The unit is telling residents to avoid traditional ways of celebrating the day. Instead, choose safer alternative ways, which may require families to get creative.
“Going out trick-or-treating or handing out treats increases your family’s risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 because it exposes you to many other people,” the EOHU said.
This also means foregoing Halloween parties — big or small, it says.
Instead, the EOHU has offered some recommendations for celebrating Halloween safely during COVID-19:
- Do not host an event or anything in-person with individuals outside of your immediate household. Instead, celebrate at home with people you live with, or with your chosen social support person(s) if you have one.
- Launch a virtual competition with neighbours for the best Halloween decorations.
- Organize a virtual costume party.
- Watch a scary movie with the people you live with or your chosen support circle. If weather permits, set it up in your backyard.
- Plan a special evening looking at the full moon. The last time there was a full moon on October 31 was in 2001.
- Set up a at-home candy treasure hunt for your kids.
- Eat a fun and spooky meal you have made with those you live with your or social support group.
- Save the pumpkin carving for Halloween night so you have an activity to look forward to.
- Enjoy some other fall activities that day and evening, like an outdoor corn made or apple picking.
“This year, it is strongly recommended not to trick-or-treat or hand out treats,” the EOHU said. “If you do choose to trick-or-treat, follow the these measures to do it safely:”
- Choose a costume that allows you/your kid to wear a non-medical mask. A costume mask isn’t a substitute for a face covering and shouldn’t be worn over a face covering as it may make it difficult to breath.
- Only trick-or-treat outside. Stay in your own community and away from busy areas.
- Go only with members of your households and keep two metre from others.
- Where possible, knock instead of pushing doorbells or keep 2m from the door or porch and call “trick or treat”
- Bring hand sanitizer and use it before handling candy or after touching high-touch surfaces like doorbells, doors or railings.
If you’re handing out treats, the EOHU says to keep at least 2m distance from trick-or-treaters and wash your hands often. Make candy bundles/bags using pre-packaged treats. Space them out on a table or blanket outside for tick-or-treaters to take.
And if you or your child are sick or self-isolating, stay home and don’t give you candy. Turn your porch light off to discourage trick-or-treaters.