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B.C.’s top doc stresses COVID precautions as poll finds more kids will be trick-or-treating

Halloween is fast approaching. And while more Canadian parents are planning on letting their kids go trick-or-treating this year, they may face more closed doors.

A new survey from Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies suggests 93 per cent said their kids would be heading out on Halloween.

But, almost half said they wouldn’t be handing out treats to little ghosts and goblins this Sunday because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

That said, for those who do decide to hand out candy, there are ways to do it safely. Last year, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) recommended using tongs, a baking sheet, or making a candy slide to create more space.

This year, creativity is once again encouraged by B.C.’s top doc.

“I do think that a lot of the creative things that we saw last year are good and good things for us to consider this year as well for a number of reasons,” said Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. “One is, we still have transmission.”

“We know that this virus is transmitting in communities around the province, and the new strain that we’re seeing can transmit more effectively,” Henry said. “We still do not have vaccines for young children — particularly that age group that enjoys going out and trick-or-treating.”

As well, last Halloween, the BCCDC urged people to keep safe by following COVID-19 safety tips when celebrating.

It said opting for a more intimate gathering by keeping it small, local and within a social group was ideal. And when dressing up, it suggested integrating a non-medical mask or face coverings into your costume.

At an Oct. 12 press conference, Henry echoed these same tips for Halloween 2021: “Keep it outside, keep groups small, do some of those really fun things that worked last year,” she added. “Have outdoor events, especially if they involve children who are under 12 that are not yet vaccinated.”

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