A Neyaashiinigmiing Halloween: How to Stay Safe While Enjoying a Spooky Holiday

COVID-19 Considerations for Halloween

This information has been compiled to provide guidance on how to enjoy a safe Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. How we celebrate has a big impact on the level of risk we face. Being aware of the differences can help you celebrate Halloween as safely as possible. We have prepared some suggestions to spread the fun, but not the virus!

Know and Adhere to Gathering Limits

On September 19, 2020 the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Public Health Measures Table, reduced the limits on the number of people permitted to attend unmonitored and private social gatherings across the province. The new limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering is:

  • 10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit of 50); or
  • 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit of 100).

Celebrating at Home (Low Risk Activity)

  • Host your own monster mash outdoors.  Include only those monsters from your social bubble.
  • Make your own spooky treats like clementine jack-o-lanterns, monster mix, or ghostly cookies.
  • Invite your kids to help with your preparations. Decorating, making a Halloween music playlist, carving pumpkins, painting decorations, making paper chains and other crafts are great activities for all ages.
  • Set up a scavenger hunt filled with tricks and treats for your social bubble, inside or outdoors.
  • Pick out some Halloween themed books to read together with your kids.

Community Members giving out Halloween treats (Moderate Risk Activity)

  • It is strongly recommended that you do not hand out Halloween candy from your front door. The door is an area where multiple people may touch the same surfaces and is a high risk area for any virus, especially COVID-19, to spread.
  • Instead, set up a trick or treating station outside your home, just inside your open garage door, or outside in your driveway.  Maintain a physical distance of two meters from visitors. Setting up a table can help with this. Provide hand sanitizer at your station.
  • Portion treats out ahead of time in baggies to allow for touchless trick-or-treating.  When trick-or-treaters arrive, direct them to take a bag without handling any others.
  • Do not provide homemade treats. Please hand out pre-packaged items.
  • In between visitors, clean and disinfect any frequently touched surfaces. 

Going Door to Door (High Risk Activity)

  • Try to maintain physical distance from others while trick-or treating.
  • Choose a costume that makes it easy to also wear a proper mask or face covering.  Make sure your mask fits well, covers your nose, mouth, and chin, and does not have open air holes.
  • Wash your hands before trick or treating, when you return home, and before snacking.  Bring your hand sanitizer with you and use it when appropriate.
  • The COVID-19 virus does not survive indefinitely on surfaces. As a precaution, set aside any treats collected for 24 hours.  Have some ready-to-enjoy favourites set aside for when you return home.
  • Do not accept or offer homemade Halloween Treats: candy apples, popcorn, etc.

Help make a difference:

  • Maintain physical distance of at least two meters from people not in your household or social bubble.
  • Wear a face mask in indoor and outdoor public spaces where physical distancing is a challenge.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. 
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Practice good hygiene (cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching your face).
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces often.
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill or have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Get tested if there is a possibility you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Enjoy a Safe and Happy Halloween!