Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam speaks during a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Canada’s chief public health officer says trick-or-treating should be possible this Halloween as long as little goblins take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam speaks during a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Canada’s chief public health officer says trick-or-treating should be possible this Halloween as long as little goblins take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

COVID-19 won’t spook away trick-or-treating if safety rules followed: health officers

Dr. Theresa Tam cautions, however, that parents should listen to local public health authorities

Canada’s chief public health officer says trick-or-treating should be possible this Halloween as long as little goblins take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Theresa Tam cautions, however, that parents should listen to local public health authorities for advice on their particular communities.

Tam says outdoor trick-or-treating can be safe when people respect physical distancing, wear masks, use hand-sanitizer and ensure treats are prepackaged.

She notes a cloth mask can even be incorporated into some costumes.

“So there are ways to actually manage this, outdoors in particular,” Tam told a news briefing Tuesday.

“I think that’s some of the safest way of doing trick or treating.”

Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo said Halloween celebrations will vary across the country.

But he pointed to the way people creatively adapted to safely enjoy Thanksgiving as an example to follow.

“I think Canadians are resilient, they can adapt,” Njoo said. “It’s possible to give and receive candy safely.”

Tam offered ideas such as using a hockey stick to hand out treats or having a pool noodle handy to remind people to stay two metres apart.

Health officials also plan to put safety tips on a federal website before Oct. 31.

The advice comes amid a second wave of COVID-19 across the country that is causing fear and uncertainty.

Tam acknowledged the challenges Canadian face as communities reopen businesses and services, only to roll them back when outbreaks occur.

The goal is to fine-tune the balance to allow for a sustained rhythm and more predictability for the public, she said..

“I think the bottom line is, nobody has that precise playbook.”

The balance will be different in individual communities across the country, she added.

“People are giving it a really good try but it’s not going to be easy, and we need everyone to collaborate on that front.”

READ MORE: B.C. CDC releases Halloween tips for COVID-safe fall celebrations

READ MORE: Top 10 timely Halloween costumes: From Baby Yoda to Black Panther to ‘2020 Dumpster Fire’

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusHalloween

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A photograph of the real firearm beside the replica firearm seized by VicPD in the early hours of April 18. (Courtesy VicPD)
Police seize loaded firearm, drugs during traffic stop in Victoria

Officers find cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl along with loaded handgun

Sidney council approved a broad package of tax relief measures, but concerns about its timing and effectiveness remain. (Black Press Media File).
President of cannabis company considers legal action against Sidney

Sidney already lost one legal action by another cannabis retailer in summer 2020

Colwood restaurants can use city property for patios. (Black Press Media file photo)
Temporary patios back on for Colwood restaurants

Council voted to extend temporary permits to 2022

Sidney Volunteer Fire Department as well as Sidney/North Saanich RCMP and BC Ambulance responded to a dryer fire on Orchard Avenue. (Sidney Volunteer Fire Department/Twitter)
Dryer fire doused in Sidney

Cause of Monday afternoon remains under investigation

(Black Press Media file photo)
Woman returned to West Shore on warrant after crashing in Oak Bay

Smashed car windows, stolen outboard, missing diamond round out police briefs

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read