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

A concept of homes on Ronald Road as part of the Clark-Medd project. (Lantzville Projects Ltd. image)
Lantzville council moves along Clark-Medd project amid protest outside district hall

Council passes third readings of OCP amendment and zoning bylaw by 3-2 votes

Police executed a search warrant at a residence on Nicol Street in September 2017 in relation to a murder investigation. John Albert Buchanan was charged with second-degree murder. (News Bulletin file)
Murder trial begins in case of man who was beaten and died in Nanaimo’s south end

John Albert Buchanan charged with second-degree murder after 2017 incident on Nicol Street

A jail cell at the Nanaimo RCMP detachment. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman reports she was injured by Nanaimo RCMP while being jailed

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. looking into Oct. 1 incident

B.C. Ferries has a mandatory mask policy on vessels and at terminals. (News Bulletin file photo)
UPDATE: No tickets for anti-maskers on B.C. Ferries

West Van Police say their intention was to ‘keep the peace’ after being called to terminal

Steven Michael Bacon pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang. (Photos submitted)
Accused pleads not guilty in Nanaimo teen’s 2017 murder

Steven Bacon appeared in Nanaimo court Monday via video link from Thunder Bay

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

Candidates in the Nanaimo riding include Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberal Party, top left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; Lia Versaevel, Green Party. (Photos submitted/News Bulletin photo/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding include Chris Istace, B.C. Green Party, top left; Duck Paterson, B.C. Liberals; and Doug Routley, NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Parksville-Qualicum riding include Rob Lyon, B.C. Green Party, top left; Don Purdey, Conservatives; John St. John, independent; Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberals; and Adam Walker, B.C. NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

(Black Press Media files)
Early voters more likely to favour NDP, but overall B.C. election is tightening: poll

According to Elections BC, 383,477 people cast a ballot during advanced voting days

(Pixabay)
Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

The team has received close to 600 calls and emails since the investigation started in July

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

Most Read