By Camille Aubin
[email protected]

As Halloween approaches, health officials in B.C. want are remind everyone to keep Halloween celebrations small, noting the pandemic is still ongoing.

According to Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the new and inventive socially distanced ways people used to hand out Halloween treats last year, like candy chutes, should be considered again as COVID-19 continues to spread across the province.

“A lot of the creative things that we saw last year are good things for us to consider this year, as well, for a number of reasons, 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 during a press conference. “We still do not have a vaccine for young children, particularly that age group that enjoys going out in trick-or-treating. So this year, as well, think: keep it outside. Keep it small.”

For a safe Halloween, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control offers the same guidelines as last year: Avoid trick-or-treating indoors or in busy areas; leave space between you and other people to avoid crowding; wash your hands before going out, upon getting home, and before eating treats; and keep hand sanitizer readily available.

Residents giving out candy should be advised to use tongs and a baking sheet, or make a “candy slide”; hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl; only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats; wear a non-medical mask when handing out treats; be more outside than inside, or at least stand outside when handing out treats, so that kids don’t need to touch doors or doorbells; and be sure to constantly clean handrails, doorbells, and knobs.

Don’t forget to wear bright colors. If your little one is dressed in a dark costume this Halloween, say as Batman, for instance, add reflective tape, buttons, or lights to the costume. Also, check the treats first and be wary of unsealed or damaged wrappers. If in doubt, throw it out. And don’t forget to have fun.