Ontario’s top doctor said that door-to-door trick-or-treating is not recommended for Halloween this year due to high COVID-19 cases.
On Monday, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, said, “I’d like to remind everyone to take extra precautions to ensure you are keeping yourself and your families safe.”
Due to the high transmission of coronavirus 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.”
Williams said that children can still dress up and participate in virtual activities and parties, organize a Halloween candy hunt with people living in their own household, carve pumpkins, have a movie night, share scary stories, or decorate their front lawn .
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He also noted that people should check with their local public health unit or municipality for any additional advice or restrictions that may be in place.
Toronto has not released their specific guidelines yet.
“It is also critical that families not travel outside of their neighbourhood to celebrate Halloween,” Williams added.
To have a safe 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 coronavirus
- 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.
“I would also like to remind everyone that we are in a second wave of COVID-19. There have been increases in cases in many areas across the province, and the percentage of people tested who get a positive result is going up,” Williams said.
To date in Ontario, there has been a total of 65,075 cases, with 55,978 recovered and 3,050 reported deaths.