Tam: Deception can still happen – depending on local rules

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TORONTO – COVID-19 doesn’t have to stop us from cheating or treating this year, according to Canada’s top doctor, as long as we follow health guidelines. Dr Theresa Tam said on Tuesday it was about “finding a balance” for Halloween.

She said most public health leaders agree that “trying to provide some degree of normalcy, even if it’s actually different from any other year,” is important in a fall season that has been punctuated. by an increase in the number of cases in many regions.

Indoor gatherings or parties to celebrate Halloween are banned in a pandemic, but cheating or dealing outdoors with social distancing should be fine, she said.

She suggested that people could prepackage candy or candy and hand them out one by one “so people don’t dig into a bowl” and parents can bring hand sanitizer to their children.

“There are some really cool ideas where people hand out treats on the end of a hockey stick or something,” she added. “Use a pool noodle to tell your kids how far away they should stand [other people]. »

Cloth masks could even be made from different fabrics to allow them to be part of a costume, she said.

Tam added that safety tips will be posted on the government website before October 31.

But she pointed out that not all regions of Canada are dealing with the same level of COVID-19 and therefore will have different rules and regulations for the scary season.

“You should listen to your local direction on public health, as the business is different in different parts of Canada right now,” she said.

The BC Center for Disease Control has published its Halloween guidelines, which ban indoor gatherings and include suggestions like handing out candy from the bottom of your steps or the curb, or even doing a “candy slide.” to give more space when dispensing sweets. ”

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, told a media briefing on Tuesday that outdoor rigging or treatment in Ontario should be fine in most places.

He encouraged people to still decorate their lawns ahead of the season, and added that it was important to be careful how we distribute the candy.

“Don’t linger on the stairs for long,” he said.

He added that plastic Halloween masks did not count as proper facial covers for COVID-19, so anyone wearing a full Jason mask or a sculpted witch face should always wear a cloth mask underneath.

However, this permissive attitude regarding faking or treatment does not apply to Toronto, Peel and Ottawa, the “hot spots” of the province, Williams said, adding that Halloween guidelines for those regions should be published. in the next few days.

Ontario has registered more than 1,500 new cases of COVID-19 in the past two days. Over 600 were in Toronto, 294 in Peel and 235 in Ottawa.

But some Ontario cities outside of hotspots are still not taking chances this Halloween.

The village of Westport, located approximately 55 km north of Kingston, Ontario, has made the decision to cancel door-to-door or community treatment this year.

In a council briefing note on the matter earlier this month, it was noted that the village draws crowds from surrounding areas on Halloween night, with residents saying they “regularly receive between 175 and 200 crooks ”.

The cancellation was due to fear of “increased community transmission,” according to the briefing note.

For those who don’t feel safe walking the streets for candy, there are still ways to celebrate.

Lee-Anne Lyon-Bartley, nicknamed “Canada’s security diva” for her public safety work, said in a press release that parents who “don’t want to be the Grinch who stole Halloween” can find creative ways for their children to participate in the holidays at home. These could include a Halloween hunt in their backyard or home, similar to an Easter hunt, or a Zoom party with friends to show off costumes and pumpkin carvings.

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