Pandemic trick-or-treating: How to have a safe Halloween in Nova Scotia

·2 min read
A resident gives out Halloween treats using a reacher-grabber tool as a measure against COVID-19, as part of a fundraiser for the food bank at a decorated home in Ottawa on Halloween night in 2020. (The Canadian Press - image credit)
A resident gives out Halloween treats using a reacher-grabber tool as a measure against COVID-19, as part of a fundraiser for the food bank at a decorated home in Ottawa on Halloween night in 2020. (The Canadian Press - image credit)

As people across Nova Scotia ready their costumes in anticipation of our spookiest unofficial holiday, Public Health is urging extra precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The province said although there are fewer restrictions in place than this time last year, it's still important to be cautious.

Above all, health officials say if you're not feeling well, stay home — don't go trick-or-treating, hand out candy or suit up for a Halloween party.

If you plan on trick-or-treating, the province says to distance yourself from others, skip houses with no lights on and visit homes outdoors when possible. If indoors, wear a non-medical mask.

Public Health says to keep conversations short — "Do not sing or shout in exchange for Halloween candy" — and do not take treats in situations where everyone has to reach into a single container.

Here are some other tips for trick-or-treaters:

  • Bring hand sanitizer with you and clean your hands often, especially if you are putting on and taking off a mask or face covering and touching high-touch surfaces.

  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home.

  • Wash your hands before and after handling and eating your treats. There is no need to clean, disinfect or quarantine treats.

Nicola MacLeod/CBC
Nicola MacLeod/CBC

For those planning to hand out candy, the province is recommending sitting on the porch, driveway or front yard to greet trick-or-treaters.

If that's not possible, regularly clean and disinfect doorbells, handrails and door handles.

Do not have many hands reaching into a single container. Use tongs or other utensils to hand out treats, or place individual allotments on a table.

People should wear a non-medical mask when physical distancing is not possible, and never ask visitors to sing or shout for their treats.

If not participating, turn off the lights, take down decorations and put up a sign saying you're not participating.

Hallie Cotnam/CBC
Hallie Cotnam/CBC

For Halloween partygoers, Public Health is reminding people of the current gathering limits for informal events: 25 people indoors or 50 outdoors.

Masks are required in indoor public spaces, and a non-medical mask cannot be replaced with a Halloween costume mask.

Most Halloween masks that cover the entire face have holes for breathing — it does not fit snugly and protect others. While this type of mask is fine to wear outdoors or in your home, it cannot be worn in place of a non-medical mask in indoor public spaces.

If offering food, consider pre-served single servings, or a single person designated to serve food and beverages. Do not share food or drinks or use common serving cutlery.

Nova Scotia reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the active caseload to 160. The province does not update case numbers on weekends.

MORE TOP STORIES

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting