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Here’s what you need to know for a safe Halloween in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario

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OTTAWA – Ghosts and goblins are returning to the streets of Ottawa and eastern Ontario this Halloween, with a trick or treat getting the go-ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ottawa Public Health and Eastern Ontario Health Unit say trick-or-treating can be done safely this Halloween, after recommending staying home last year due to the pandemic of COVID-19.

“Stay home if you are sick, even if the symptoms are mild,” said Dr. Brent Moloughney, Ottawa Assistant Medical Officer of Health. “And assess your risk before you engage in daily activities – for Halloween and beyond.”

Dr Moloughney said residents not yet fully immunized, including children, should maintain a physical distance and wear a mask, especially indoors.

WEATHER SITUATION

The rain is expected to end this afternoon, just in time for the kids to go and make treats across the region.

Environment Canada reports 10 to 20 mm of rain today. It will be mostly cloudy this evening with a chance of showers. High 11C, low plus 5C.

HALLOWEEN PUBLIC HEALTH TIPS

Health units offer tips for treat treats and for people handing out treats at home tonight.

If you choose to donate treats:

  • Wear a face cover if physical distance cannot be maintained

  • Keep interactions with trick-or-treaters brief

  • Do not prepare a common bowl for children to access and consider dispensing contactless candy using tongs

  • Do not participate in Halloween festivities if you have symptoms, even mild

  • Distribute only purchased and wrapped Halloween treats

  • Don’t ask trick-or-treaters to sing or shout for their treats

  • Wash your hands often throughout the evening with soap and water or hand sanitizer

If you choose to go door to door:

  • Trick or-treat outdoors as much as possible

  • Keep interactions with those handing out treats brief.

  • Stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild

  • Ottawa Public Health recommends being creative and incorporating the face cover into your costume, but “know that a costume mask is not a substitute for a face cover”

  • Use hand sanitizer often

  • Take turns as they approach the thresholds. Line up two meters apart if you are waiting

  • Maintain a physical distance and wear a face cover if you participate in indoor activities.

  • Use hand sanitizer often

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit said “there is no need to clean or disinfect prepackaged treats” after handling.

If you are attending a Halloween party, health units are reminding people that gathering restrictions remain in place in Ontario. Gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

SAFETY TIPS

The Ontario Provincial Police remind parents and children to take Halloween safety precautions.

Children and parents

  • Take a flashlight and choose a costume with bright colors and reflective material

  • Avoid loose, long, oversized suits which can be a trip hazard

  • Stop, watch and listen before you cross the street

  • Don’t walk down the street. Visit one side of the street, then the other and cross at crosswalks and intersections

  • Never play alone

  • Stay in a familiar neighborhood and only go to well-lit homes

  • Do not enter a house

Motorists are urged to be on the lookout for trick-or-treaters in the late afternoon and evening.


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