Windsor-Essex County Health Unit releases Halloween safety guide
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is recommending residents follow a few safety measures when getting their tricks and treats this Halloween.
The health unit issued a number of health and safety guidelines for those participating in the spooky holiday this year, including keeping gatherings small and staying local.
Do not participate in any Halloween festivities if you are feeling ill, have symptoms of COVID-19 (even if they are mild), or have been told to isolate. While health and safety measures remain a top priority, the health unti is encouraging parents, families, and individuals to participate by decorating as they usually would to create the spirit of Halloween.
For those participating in trick or treating, the WECHU suggests doing so at a distance.
“Although trick-or-treating is an outdoor activity, there are still no zero-risk situations, therefore following the rules of physical distancing will be extremely important,” the health unit says. “Always stay at least two metres (six feet) away from people outside of your household. This includes waiting for the trick-or-treaters in front of you to collect their treats before proceeding. Do not sing or shout for your treats.”
The health unit also says those spending the night heading door to door asking for candy should wear a mask or face covering and parents should ensure their children’s costumes allow them to wear a face covering comfortable — costume masks are not a suitable substitute, WECHU says.
The WECHU also suggests limiting the number of houses you visit and avoid large groups and Halloween parties.
“Reducing the number of contacts will be critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19 this Halloween,” the WECHU says. “It is recommended families trick-or-treat only with their household members to avoid large groups. If you choose to gather with those outside of your household, consider limiting to only those that are fully vaccinated or keep it outdoors.”
For those on the other side of the door dolling out treats to costumed kids, the health unit says to practice frequent handwashing or sanitizing, however, the WECHU notes there is no need to clean or disinfect pre-packaged treats but says to hand out candy at a distance.
“Use tongs to hand out candy, a table to spread out treats or other creative ways to share while keeping distance should be a priority,” WECHU says. “Also, consider sitting outside to avoid the need to open the door or ring the doorbell. Handing out treats at the end of the driveway will make it easy to avoid lineups and potential crowds.”
The health unit also says candy givers should wear a face covering, place physical distancing markers and avoid screaming and to avoid decorations that may cause kids to scream or cough.
The WECHU has also suggested some alternatives to treat-or-treating including an at home trick-or-treat unit, a virtual costume party, a family Halloween night and delivering treats to friends and family.
A full list of guidelines to have a spooky and safe Halloween is available on the WECHU website.