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

Helping others, especially those struggling with mental health issues, keeps MOD Pizza owner Jim Hayden cooking. (RIck Stiebel/News Staff)
A 1900s writing box found in Greater Victoria contained ink, photos and a letter addressed to Clara McCaubry dated October 14, 1898. (Photo courtesy Suzanne Hervieux)
Mysterious 1900s writing box finds a home among Saanich Archives

Wooden chest owned by early Saanich resident Clara Isabelle McCaubry

(Black Press Media file photo)
Spooky online class cooks up funds for Greater Victoria Imagination Library

United Way Greater Victoria offers how-to for witch cookies, tasty coffin as fundraiser

Premier-elect John Horgan, during a visit in Sidney, broadly promised improvements to transit among other issues in the riding of Saanich North and the Islands, even after voters re-elected BC Green Adam Olsen as Member of the Legislative Assembly. (Black Press Media file photo)
Premier-elect John Horgan promises to work with all MLAs

Horgan says his government will pay attention to Saanich North and the Islands

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read