"Keep it outside": Dr. Henry has some advice for celebrating Halloween

Oct 12 2021, 8:54 pm

Halloween is just around the corner, and BC health officials are reminding people in the province that we’re still in a pandemic, and to keep events small.

In response to a question from a reporter during a press conference, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry suggested that a full-fledged Halloween would have to wait another year.

Events should be kept outdoors and small, according to Dr. Henry.

In 2020, many people in BC took a creative approach to Halloween, including devising neat mechanisms to distribute candy to trick-or-treaters.

Dr. Henry suggested people continue taking a creative approach to Halloween this year.

While there was some discussion during the conference about younger children potentially being approved to get a COVID-19 vaccine sooner than later, as of now, kids are still one of the more vulnerable populations in the province.

“Do some of those really fun things that worked last year. Have outdoor events, especially if they involve children who are under 12 and not yet vaccinated,” said Dr. Henry.

BCCDC guidelines on Halloween events

Last year, the BC Centre for Disease Control offered some guidelines for a safe Halloween.

Those guidelines included things like:

  • Avoid trick-or-treating in busy areas or indoors
  • Leave space between you and other groups to reduce crowding
  • Wash your hands before you go out, when you get home, and before eating treats
  • Keep hand sanitizer with you on the go

They also had some suggestions for residences that are giving out candy:

  • Use tongs and a baking sheet, or make a “candy slide”
  • Hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl
  • Only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats
  • Wear a non-medical mask when handing out treats
  • Be more outside than inside
  • If you can, stand outside when handing out treats so kids don’t need to touch the door or doorbell
  • Clean handrails, doorbells, and knobs if you can’t stand or sit outside

If you can, the BCCDC suggests including a non-medical mask as part of your costume.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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