Trick-or-treaters get the green light from province’s top doctor

TORONTO – Ontario’s top doctor says Halloween is a go this year, but trick-or-treaters still need to take a few precautions.

On Oct. 7, the province heard from Ontario’s top doctor, Dr. Kieran Moore, on what Halloween will look like this year.

“Halloween is also around the corner and I know our kids are eager to fill up their bags and pillowcases with candy so I did want to share a few measures that people should consider as they prepare for Halloween,” Dr. Moore stated in his address.

He noted trick-or-treating should take place outdoors as much as possible.

“Be creative, fashion a face covering into your Halloween costume design,” he explained.

“But remember a costume mask is no substitute for a proper face covering.”

He also advised children to take turns, keep interactions brief,  maintain physical distancing as much as possible and to not overcrowd doorsteps.

Under the guidelines released by the province on Halloween protocols, one of the recommendations advised against singing or shouting for treats, which Dr. Moore explained is a “risk reduction strategy.

“Clearly you have to make your presence known to get your treat … we just ask not with a high volume that could potentially aerosolize,” he said, adding “it’s an abundance of caution.”

In the guidelines released by the province, there is no need to clean or disinfect pre-packaged treats.

Halloween partiers

For trick-or-treaters or partiers that might be considering attending or throwing a Halloween party, the province has provided guidelines on when it is appropriate to wear face coverings and social distance.

Under step three of the provinces roadmap to reopen, gathering limits allow up to 25 people indoors and 100 in outdoor settings, but “the fewer the people that gather the lower the transmission,” Dr. Moore cautioned.

“If you are sick, even with mild symptoms, you should not be participating in social events like Halloween.

“We know from experience its exactly these kinds of events that can lead to spikes in transmission.”

When gathering outdoors with a group of full vaccinated individuals, the province says no face covering or physical distancing is necessary.

For those gathering with people from multiple households who are either unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or their vaccination status is unknown, the province asks they consider wearing a face covering if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

When gathering indoors with a group of fully vaccinated individuals, face coverings may be removed if everyone is comfortable.

But if you gather with people from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or you don’t know whether they’ve been vaccinated, you should wear a face covering and physically distance.

For a full list of guidelines on trick-or-treating, visit the province’s website.