Halloween: This year trick or treaters need to be careful


Experts say trick-or-treating may be safer this year, depending on where you live, but ghouls and goblins must be careful going home-to-house, when Toronto-Halloween is around the corner.

Dr. Barack is an epidemiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Anna Banerjee did not recommend Trick-or-Treating last year, but told CTVNews.ca that this year is different depending on your location’s COVID-19 rates.

“It’s safe for most people this year and now the amount of Kovid – depending on where you live – is low,” he said in a recent phone interview. “I think it really depends on the numbers. For example, in Alberta, I don’t think it’s a good idea to trick or treat right now, but there is not much COVID if people are vaccinated against a small town.

An Alberta Health spokesman said there were “minimal restrictions currently affecting Halloween,” but trick or treaters should avoid touching doorbells or railings if they experience any symptoms.

According to the CTVNews.ca Kovid-19 Case Tracker, Alberta has about 19,000 active Covid-19 cases, making it the most active province in Canada.

Dr. Van Buren, infectious disease specialist at the Vancouver Infectious Disease Center. Brian Conway, Alberta and Saskatchewan both agreed with Banerjee that they should be more vigilant this Halloween and be an outdoor-only activity across Canada this year.

“Let us keep it outdoors, the homes we visit, we have reason to believe, or we know that individuals in the house have been vaccinated, so you go to friends, neighbors and the like,” he said in a recent virtual interview.

Banerjee said that regardless of the local rate of Kovid-19, parents may want to consider other options, such as exchanging candy with a small group of friends or placing dinners on the table for the kids to catch.

Conway advised parents to do their best to trick the way into the homes they visit, either by trick or treating them or by screening the route ahead of time.

“We are going to live in the Kovid world for a long time and in the future, it will be a world of vaccines and non-vaccines,” he said.

“We need to make sure that this activity, trick-or-treating, is only surrounded by people who are actually vaccinated, and for young people who cannot be vaccinated, by people who have been vaccinated during this activity.”

Conway Trick-or-Treaters stopped short of suggesting that homeowners should be asked for vaccine proof, but said Halloween could allow people to become more accustomed to these situations.

“Hopefully this will be another occasion – an important occasion – for our children this generalization will continue in the Kovid world,” he said.

It is important to understand that children may have fewer homes for trick or treating, as Banerjee noted, because some people do not feel comfortable with crowds at their door.

“I feel like a lot of adults have compromised or primarily vaccinated children come to their doorstep,” he said.

“If Halloween continues, I think people who are not comfortable should turn off their lights, and we should have more acceptance that there are many people who are not comfortable with it.”

To discuss whether parents should send their children to Halloween, Banerjee finally said what kind of risk parents are willing to accept.

“Can this be spread in non-vaccinated children? Yes, it may be, but it is possible to spread in the classroom,” he said.

Last year, Ontario did not recommend trick-or-treating in the Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York areas, out of Westport Village, Kingston, Ont. All together the Halloween festivities have been canceled.

Ontario’s Chief Public Health Officer Kieran Moore told reporters on Tuesday that Ontario’s guidance around Halloween will be announced on Thursday, with many other provinces still making plans for Halloween.

In a statement, the Canadian Public Health Agency said there was no directive on trick-or-treating left to the provinces, but the chief public health officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tom suggested that candy bearers be the first to offer them, packaged with enough hand sanitizer all around and handed separately.

Each of the experts and government groups agreed that the typical Kovid-19 tips to maintain a distance of two meters from the others and wear a face mask apply this Halloween.

“This year – like last year – the most frightening Halloween costume is masked. So wear a mask,” Conway said.

With files from CTV News Writer Alexandra May Jones, CTV News Toronto and Canadian Press

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