On Monday, October 19th, the Province of Ontario announced its recommendations and public health advice on how to stay safer this Halloween.
The Province advised that:
“Given the high transmission of COVID-19 in the modified Stage 2 public health unit regions of Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region, traditional door-to-door trick or treating is not recommended and people should consider alternative ways to celebrate. This can include, but is not limited to:
- Encouraging kids to dress up and participate in virtual activities and parties;
- Organizing a Halloween candy hunt with people living in their own household;
- Carving pumpkins;
- Having a movie night or sharing scary stories; and,
- Decorating front lawns.
To have a safer and happy Halloween, Ontarians should follow some simple steps:
- Avoid gatherings with people outside of your household;
- Stay home if you are feeling ill, even if you have mild symptoms, or if you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19;
- If you live outside the modified Stage 2 public health unit regions and are going to go out to trick or treat:
- Only go out with members of your household;
- Only trick or treat outside;
- Both trick or treaters and people handing out candy should wear a face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering and should not be worn over a face covering as it may make it difficult to breathe;
- Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps and remember to line up two metres apart if waiting. Avoid high-touch surfaces and objects;
- Whether collecting or handing out treats, wash your hands often and thoroughly, or use hand sanitizer; and
- Do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab and consider using tongs or other similar tools to hand out treats.”
You can find additional guidance on the Province’s Halloween Briefing.
- H: Haunt your mind by sharing scary stories with friends on Facetime or Zoom.
- A: Adapt your celebration by trick or treating inside with the people you live with or with your chosen social support person(s) if you live alone. Think an Easter Egg hunt but Halloween themed.
- L: Limit your in-person celebration to those you live with or your chosen social support person(s) if you live alone.
- L: Launch a virtual competition with your neighbors for the best outdoor Halloween decorations.
- O: Organize a virtual costume party with your friends.
- W: Watch scary or fun movies with the people you live with or your chosen social support person(s) if you live alone.
- I: Inspire your costume around a mask… how can you create the most thematic 2020 costume?
- S: Show kindness by sharing photos, or connecting virtually, instead of hugs with your loved ones who are more at risk.
- E: Eat a fun and spooky meal you’ve made with those you live with or that chosen social support person(s) if you live alone.