By Nikki Jamieson
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Make sure to stay safe and healthy this Halloween season.
While many will agree that the pandemic is scary enough, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy Halloween this year.
“I know Halloween is a favourite day for many. And I know many parents are already planning costumes and activities. I have no plans to suggest that Albertans cancel Halloween this year. My own children would never forgive me,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer for health for Alberta.
“In many ways, Halloween is actually safer to celebrate than other holidays. Unlike Thanksgiving, for example, where families traditionally gather inside to enjoy dinner together, most of Halloween’s activities take place outdoors and largely within one family. However, we do need to make it as safe as possible to celebrate this year.”
If you are dressing up for Halloween, make sure to choose a costume that a non-medical face mask can fit under comfortably, so you won’t need to adjust repeatedly. If trick-or-treating is on your itinerary, take care to go only with family or cohort member and to socially distance from others. Stay in your own neighbourhood to help limit the number of people you come in contact with.
Carry hand sanitizer with you, and use it after touching frequently touched objects like doorbells and railings, and when possible, knock or make sure to stay two metres away from the door when you call out ‘trick-or-treat’.
Wait until you are home and have washed your hands before handling any candy.
Posters are available at http://www.alberta.ca/halloween-during-covid19 to tell trick-or-treaters whether or not you are handing out candy this year, which you can hang on your window or door.
If you choose to hand out candy, it is recommended that you keep a safe distance from trick-or-treaters.
If possible, give out candy from the driveway, open garage, or lawn instead of your front door. If that is not an option, utilize a table or desk to help keep your distance from trick-or-treaters. Make sure to wear a mask and use tongs or grabbers to handle candy, and avoid handling it as much as possible. Use prepackaged candy instead of home-made treats, and hand them out directly from the package they came in, or make candy bundles and space them out on a table or similar surface for trick-or-treaters to take, but do not leave out self-serve bowls or bulk candy.
People are urged to get creative when handing out candy, and build things such as a candy chute down the front steps or another fun way to hand out candy. If parties are more your thing, try to keep it to a small group of people you know. If possible, try to host your party outside, as it’s easier to maintain social distancing and there’s better air circulation. If you are having an indoor event, keep it as small as possible, and be sure to maintain two metres between each family and cohort.
Don’t share food, drinks or other treats, and choose activities that won’t involve sharing of items. Make sure to wash or sanitize your hands and have hand sanitizer on hand.
For guidelines on outdoor events, visit http://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid-19-relaunch-guidance-outdoor-events.pdf
For guidelines on indoor events, visit http://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid-19-relaunch-guidance-indoor-events.pdf.
For more information, visit alberta.ca/Halloween.