Guidelines for Halloween during a pandemic

The B.C. Centre of Disease Control has released guidelines on the best way to celebrate Halloween while remaining safe and reducing the risk of exposure or transmission.

As a general rule, the centre advises skipping parties this year, trick-or-treating in small bubbles of six, and getting creative in ensuring a distance when handing out treats.

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Indoor gatherings, big or small, put people at higher risk of getting COVID-19, according to the centre, which suggests celebrating with a favourite Halloween movie or other traditions that you can do with your household or social group.

And remember, under a new provincial order, gatherings are limited to people in an immediate household, plus their so-called “safe six”’ guests.

Leave the parties behind

  • If you celebrate with others, keep it within your social group (stick to six).
  • You should know everyone who attends — no plus ones.
  • Don’t pass around snacks, drinks, smokes, tokes or vapes
  • Be more outside than inside. Keep your space well-ventilated with windows open.
  • Avoid using props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
  • Be careful with hand sanitizer and open flames — hand sanitizer is very flammable!

Trick-or-treating safely

  • Respect homes by staying away if the lights are out.
  • Keep to your local neighbourhood this year; avoid trick-or-treating in busy areas or indoors.
  • Trick-or-treat in a small social group of six people or fewer.
  • Leave space between you and other groups to reduce crowding on stairs and sidewalks.
  • Wash your hands before you go out, when you get home and before eating treats. (Keep hand sanitizer with you if eating treats on the go. You don’t need to clean every treat but you should wash your hands after handling treats. Do not touch your face.)

Handing out treats

  • Use tongs, a baking sheet or a candy slide to hand out candy.
  • Hand out individual treats instead of offering from a shared bowl.
  • Only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats.
  • Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose and mouth when handing out treats.
  • Be more outside than inside. If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats, which also ensure kids won’t need to touch the door or doorbell. If you’re not able to remain outside, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, handrails, and any other high-touch surface often through the night.
  • If you are decorating, avoid props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
  • Stick to treats — not tricks.

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