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October 25, 2021

Considerations for Halloween from the Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health

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Halloween is a fun break from our everyday routines. For many people, anytime one remembers or thinks of Halloween, they most likely catch themselves smiling. Our children’s mental wellbeing desperately needs this type of smile during this time. However, with COVID-19, the Grey Bruce Health Unit has issued their recommendations for a safe Halloween.

If you are unwell, especially with COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and away from others. Virtual Halloween is all you’ll find on our menu.

If you want to reduce your risk as much as possible this year, as an alternative to traditional trick or treating, you and your children can explore alternative ways to celebrate. Have your own Halloween-themed party at home. Be creative, dressing up, decorating, crafts, carve a pumpkin or carve a dozen pumpkins, and scavenger hunts are some ideas for all ages.

If you choose to trick-or-treat door-to-door:

  • Stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild.
  • Trick-or-treat outdoors as much as possible.
  • If trick-or-treating indoors maintain physical distancing as much as possible and wear a face covering, especially when physical distancing is a challenge.
  • Be creative and build the face covering into your costume, but know that a costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering, and that a costume mask should not be worn over a non-medical mask or face covering because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe.
  • Do not crowd doorsteps - take turns, one at a time.
  • Do not sing or shout for your treats.
  • Keep interactions brief with those giving out treats.
  • Use hand sanitizer often, especially before and after handling your face covering, after touching frequently touched surfaces, when you arrive home from trick-or-treating, and before and after handling or eating treats.
  • There is no need to clean or disinfect pre-packaged treats.

If you choose to give out treats:

  • Do not participate in Halloween festivities if you have symptoms, even if they are mild.
  • Keep interactions with trick-or-treaters short and encourage them to move along after receiving their treat from you.
  • Consider wearing a face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • If you are dressing up, consider including the face covering as part of your costume.
  • Give out only purchased and packaged treats.
  • Do not ask trick-or-treaters to sing or shout for their treats.

Clean your hands often throughout the evening using soap and water or with hand sanitizer:

If you chose to celebrate Halloween as an adult, and are hosting a gathering, you may have a gathering with people you don’t live with. However, it is important to remember that knowing someone does not reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Keep following good public health practises.

If you choose to host an in-person gathering:

  • Do not exceed the gathering limit of 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
  • You should have the fewest number of people possible at your party or gathering and use outdoor spaces whenever possible.
  • Provide all the necessary supplies, including hand sanitizer, soap and water.
  • Open windows, if possible.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces.
  • Ask guests to not attend if they have symptoms, even if they are mild.
  • Make a list of guests attending in case public health needs it for contact tracing.
  • Remind people of public health guidance to follow during the event.

If you choose to serve food or drinks at your party, you should:

  • Wash your hands before and frequently during preparation and serving; and;
  • Have everyone wash their hands before and after eating.

If you choose to attend an in-person gathering:

  • You should not attend if you have any symptoms, even if they are mild.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly throughout the event.
  • Consider participating virtually or not attending the event.

Please remember the Three Ws, Watch your distance, Wash your hands, and Wear a mask.

For full details on gatherings, and social events, click HERE, and Considerations for Halloween.

 


At South Grey News, we endeavour to bring you truthful up-to-date local community news in a quick and easy-to-digest format that’s free of political bias. We believe this service is more important today than ever before, as social media has given rise to misinformation, largely unchecked by big corporations who put profits ahead of their responsibilities.

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