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Halloween COVID-19 warning for Ontario: Trick or treating is back for 2021, but don't do it 'too exuberantly'

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While Halloween was quite restrictive last year, the recommendations for safely celebrating Halloween in Ontario this year are a bit looser.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, stressed that one of the most important rules is to not attend any events if you are symptomatic, even with very mild possible COVID-19 symptoms.

"Be creative, fashion a face covering into your halloween costume design," Dr. Moore said at a press conference on Thursday. "But remember, a costume mask is no substitute for a proper face covering."

For trick-or-treating, the chief medical officer of health had recommendations for how to go door to door safely.

  • Do not overcrowd the doorsteps

  • Take turns and keep interactions brief

  • Maintain physical distancing as much as possible

  • Don’t yell "too exuberantly" or not with a "high volume" that could potentially aerosolize

Indoor gatherings can be held with a maximum or 25 people, 100 people for outdoor gathering.

If everyone is vaccinated, Dr. Moore said individuals can consider removing masks, including during an indoor gathering, if everyone is comfortable. For indoor gatherings where some attendees are not vaccinated, partially vaccinated or their vaccination status is unknown, masks should be worn, which should also be the case for outdoor gathering if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

For gathering generally, people should try to use outdoor spaces as much as possible.