Ontario doesn't want kids to yell or scream while trick-or-treating this Halloween
Spooky season is now upon us, but please don't sing about it — at least not in Ontario, not while out and about on Halloween (which has not been cancelled for 2021, contrary to what you may have heard and despite the fact that we're still surfing a fourth wave of COVID.)
The province's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, gave Ontarians the green light on Thursday to celebrate both Thanksgiving and Halloween this year, but with safety precautions in place.
Indoor Thanksgiving dinners need to be capped at 25 people, for instance, and windows should be kept open (not a problem, judging by the balmy long weekend forecast.)
Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoors, according to health officials, and smaller is better, as "the fewer people who gather, the lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission."
Moore stressed on Thursday that virtual gatherings remain "the safest way to celebrate" both Thanksgiving and Halloween, "especially if people in the group are unvaccinated or if their vaccination status is unknown."
All of that said, those who really want to go trick-or-treating can do so — quietly.
Among the measures recommended in the province's guidelines for celebrating Halloween safely are "do not sing or shout for your treats" and "do not ask trick-or-treaters to sing or shout for their treats."
This is presumably to reduce the number of respiratory particles circulating, as the coronavirus is spread through airborne droplets.
And a standard Halloween mask isn't up to snuff in terms of PPE: officials recommend either wearing a proper mask under that plastic ghoul face, or building a face covering into your costume.
The guidelines don't mention anything about holding in one's screams if they're frightened — sometimes that can't be helped — but they do seem to emphasize keeping one's mouth shut and distancing from others on October 31.
Here are Ontario's full guidelines for celebrating Halloween in 2021:
All current public health and safety measures under Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen remain in place and Ontario's Ministry of Health maintains that getting vaccinated is "the best way to protect you and those around you from serious illnesses like COVID-19."
Join the conversation Load comments