Halloween has not been cancelled in Ontario or in northwestern Ontario, and youth can expect to gather treats and play tricks as usual.
However, Dr. John Guilfoyle with the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority says we can’t forget about COVID-19 precautions and safety measures on October 31, and offered a number of suggestions to families who may be worried about the night’s events.
“Halloween is a very important event for our kids. We want to make this Halloween as safe and enjoyable as possible for the little ones. There’s lots of activities that can be done safely,” said Guilfoyle.
When trick or treating, residents are encouraged to bring plenty of hand sanitizer, go out with those within your household bubble, and stay home and not hand out candy if you are feeling unwell.
“When we go trick or treating, if you are putting out treats or involved in going around with your kids, we need to make that safe. The best way, is to have individually-wrapped treats.”
“When you’re handing them out, don’t place them in a bowl. That’s a way for one to pass COVID-19 from one to another. Use tongs to hand out the treats.”
“Wear a mask, but be careful if you put it on your Halloween mask as it can impact your breathing. Maintain social distancing between other groups of people, as well as those we get treats from when we go to the homes.”
“If there is fruit given, wash your hands and wash the fruit when you get home. Washing your hands is important, especially before you start eating candy,” added Guilfoyle.
Guilfoyle also suggests residents can still carve pumpkins, create and hang decorations, a scavenger hunt, and virtual costume contests, as just a few socially-distant Halloween activities that you can do at home, if you’re not comfortable trick or treating.
Earlier this month, the Northwestern Health Unit advised residents to avoid all non-essential travel outside of northern Ontario. Those that wish to travel outside the region can, but should perform a risk assessment before leaving the area.
If you do travel outside of northern Ontario, the health unit says you should self-isolate for 14 days upon returning if you have come in contact with a close contact of a positive case or have been exposed to an outbreak situation.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who have come into contact with a case of COVID-19 are asked to schedule a test with the assessment centre as soon as possible. Testing centres will only accept appointments, and not walk-ins.
For more information:
Is Halloween cancelled?
Health leaders thankful of residents’ help to contain COVID-19