In his weekly media briefing, Dr. Charles Gardner talked about Halloween in Simcoe Muskoka. He says the safest option is not to take part but If you choose to do so, the Health Unit has info on their website including:
- Avoid gatherings with people outside of your household.
- Stay home if feeling ill even if you have mild symptom, or if you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19
- Only go out with members of your direct 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.
- Consider building your face covering into your, or your child’s, costume.
- Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps. Line up two metres (six feet) 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.
- Do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab.
- Consider using tongs, or other similar tools to hand out treats.
- Consider printing one of these posters as a tool to help let your neighbours know whether you are handing out treats.
Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has had unique impacts across country, every community in Canada is going to have a different approach to celebrating Halloween. Now more than ever, it’s important that parents and Halloween lovers alike find creative ways to celebrate the season while staying safe. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun and unique approaches to enjoy Halloween in a way that works for you and your family – whether it’s fun from a distance while staying at home, or something in between.
“Halloween is a special time for kids and adults alike. This year, Canadians understand the importance of celebrating safely and responsibly,” explains Michael Graydon, CEO Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada (FHCP). “Halloween will go on and the goodies we enjoy and have come to associate with the season will remain one of the best parts of the experience.”
“Halloween may look a little different this year, but consumers want to celebrate conventional holidays, even if by unconventional standards. Retailers displayed treats, decorations and costumes early in the season so that families could shop early, avoid line-ups and simply have more time to pre-plan for this special celebration” said Diane J. Brisebois, President & CEO, Retail Council of Canada.”
FHCP and RCC have come up with some fun ideas to help ensure the Halloween spirit remains alive for families, while still adhering to public health recommendations including physical distancing and the avoidance of large groups.
- Showcase Halloween craft projects on your porch and in your front windows for your neighbours to enjoy.
- Drop treats on your neighbour’s doorsteps, ring the bell, and run away! Make sure to include a spooky note letting your neighbour know they’re from you.
- Set up a piñata at home filled with your favourite Halloween treats. – Set up a treat hunt around your home; goodies can be hidden in secret spots, or use bedroom, and closet doors as trick-or-treat stations. – Have fun with decorations – the inside and outside of your home can be in the Halloween spirit all month long.
- Craft a countdown calendar – pick a fun Halloween activity to do each day or each weekend in October leading up to the big day.
- Organize and hold a socially distanced costume parade with a few of your neighbours and keep the treats at home to enjoy afterwards.
- Host a virtual party – set up video chats with friends and family members who can’t celebrate with you.
Encourage children to show off their costumes and talk about their favourite treats. There’s no need to cancel out the 2020 Halloween season even if your plans include staying home. Ensuring a memorable Halloween just calls for some creativity and, of course, treats.