The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has released tips for a COVID-safe Halloween this year. (pxhere.com)

B.C. CDC releases Thanksgiving, Halloween tips for COVID-safe fall celebrations

People who are quarantined or self-isolating are being told to leave their houses dark

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has released a guide for families and kids hoping to go trick-or-treating this Halloween, as well as for any other upcoming gatherings including Thanksgiving.

The CDC said that children can trick-or-treat this year as long as they take the appropriate precautions, including looking for candy only in their neighbourhood, instead of travelling across their communities. Trick-or-treating in malls or other indoor spaces is not recommended, and groups are asked to stay small. The CDC does not recommend cleaning each candy bar before eating but advises instead that kids use hand sanitizer or wash their hands before and after having a treat. Wearing a non-medical mask that covers the mouth and nose is recommended, although health officials warned against wearing a second, costume mask on top.

Homes hoping to hand out candy are being asked to avoid handing treats directly to kids. Instead, the CDC recommends using tongs, placing candy on a tray and not using a shared bowl. People handing out treats are asked to wear a non-medical mask and stand outside for better ventilation and to avoid kids touching the doorbell. If decorating, don’t use smoke machines or anything that could cause coughing.

People who are quarantined or self-isolating are being told to leave their houses dark, while trick-or-treaters are asked to avoid homes that aren’t lit up with Halloween decorations.

Both kids and adults are asked to avoid Halloween parties this year, sticking to their pandemic bubbles of six or less for any gatherings.

The CDC also released guidelines for for “safer celebrations” as a whole. The next holiday is Thanksgiving on Oct. 12.

“Keep gatherings small, local and within your social group this year,” the agency urged. Party hosts are encouraged to only meet up indoors with their pandemic bubble of six people or fewer, and to check to make sure that no attendees are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19.

For indoor gatherings, the CDC said that more ventilation, bigger rooms and less time spent together are key to reducing the risk of transmission. As far as food and drinks go, the CDC recommended limiting alcohol or any substances that could make it more likely for people to lower their inhibitions and not follow best practices. The agency recommended not having buffet style meals and providing hand washing and sanitizing opportunities for people and discouraging them from sharing drinks or plates.

The CDC said there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread when people eat food prepared by others. However, frequent hand-washing and not cooking or attending gatherings when experiencing symptoms is key to reducing the spread of the virus.

READ MORE: Canada’s top doctor gives tips for COVID-safe Thanksgiving amid high daily cases


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusHalloween

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

Kwick’kanum (Eric Pelkey), a hereditary chief of the Tsawout Nation, addressed the crowd that gathered at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 on Oct. 23. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway reopens after rally supporting Mi’kmaq fishing rights

Supporters call on government to recognize Indigenous treaty rights

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Most Read