GUIDELINES FOR REDUCING COVID-19 RISK AT HALLOWEEN


Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. Hence,

those that have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19

should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy

to trick-or-treaters.
There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. Please find below the guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19 during the following Halloween activities:
1. Trick-or-Treating (Neighbourhood Trick-or-Treating)
Trick-or-treating is permitted with the following measures in place:

  • • Two metres distance must be maintained between individuals who are not in the same household/extended household at all times.

  • No direct physical contact should occur between trick-or-treaters and people distributing Halloween treats.

  • Participants should consider using tools (e.g. tongs) to distribute candy at a distance.

  • Physical distancing must be used when approaching houses (i.e. wait until group ahead is gone, take turns). For houses or neighbourhoods anticipating a high volume of trick-or-treaters, people distributing candy are encouraged to place tape markers every two metres between doorways and sidewalks/driveways to promote physical distancing.

  • Due to the number of people potentially touching the treats prior to being handed out, consider cleaning candy wrappers with disinfectant wipes or holding the treats for 72 hours before consuming.

  • Only wrapped, store-bought treats should be distributed.

  • Common touch areas (e.g. handrails, doorbells, doorknobs, etc.) should be frequently cleaned and disinfected while distributing candy.

  • Trick-or-treaters should practise frequent hand hygiene by carrying portable hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number).

  • People distributing candy should practise frequent hand hygiene while handing out Halloween treats.

  •  

    Trick-or-treaters should consider incorporating non-medical masks (e.g. cloth or other materials) into their costumes, while ensuring their eyes are not covered for safety reasons.

  • Individuals handing out candy should consider wearing non-medical masks (e.g. cloth or other materials) where two metres of physical distance cannot be maintained.

  • Where possible, only one household member should hand out candy.


• Alternatives to trick-or-treating may be considered, such as:
o Costume viewing from windows/virtual/photos.
o Decorating households and yards for viewing from afar.
o A costume parade where physical distancing can be maintained.

 

2. Retail Trick-or-Treating
Outlets handing out candy must ensure they comply with all guidelines specified below for private trick-or-treating.

  • Increase cleaning and disinfection of commonly contacted areas, including doorknobs, handles, display racks, checkout areas, change rooms, keyboards, etc.

  • Ensure staff are practising proper hand hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette

  • Promote physical distancing of customers

  • Use physical line controls, such as crowd control cordons at entrances and checkout lines. Place markers (e.g. tape or cones) every two metres as visible cues to support physical distancing.

  • Post clear signs in multiple locations that indicate the maximum number of customers and staff allowed in the store at one time.

  • Consider monitoring the number of customers and staff entering and exiting the store. Once the maximum number of persons is reached, allow one person to enter for every one person who leaves.

  • Place an alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number) in dispensers or soap and water handwashing stations near doors, pay stations, change rooms and other high-touch locations

  • Ensure employee and public washrooms are always well stocked with liquid soap and paper towels, and that warm running water is available.

3. Haunted Houses

  • Organizers must implement one-way traffic flow to promote physical distancing

          (i.e. enter through one door and exit through another).

  • Use markings or dividers and visual cues in common areas to ensure

          physical distancing between non-household/extended household members.

  • Non-medical masks (e.g. cloth or other materials) are an additional measure participants can consider when physical distancing cannot be maintained or is unpredictable.

  • Ensure frequent hand hygiene is available for everyone before, during and after visiting the haunted house with hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number).

  • Expand cleaning and disinfection of common/high-touch surfaces with the use of a Health Canada-approved product.

  • Walk-through times between groups must be a minimum of 10 minutes apart to avoid congestion in the haunted house.


4. Pumpkin Patches


Pumpkin patches are permitted to operate under the following conditions:

 

  • People exhibiting signs of illness should not enter pumpkin patches. If you think you may be sick, use the online Saskatchewan COVID-19 self-assessment tool and follow the directions.

  • People not from the same household or extended household should maintain two metres of physical distancing at all times. Limit gathering with other people when entering and leaving the pumpkin patch, and always supervise children playing.

  • Limit entry to the pumpkin patch to allow for physical distancing of two metres between individuals and family groups. Block off areas to control access.

  • Minimize the number of entrances and exits to control the number of participants.

  • Manage lineups into the pumpkin patch to meet physical distancing requirements of two metres between people not from the same household or extended household.

  • Direct traffic flow through the patch using chalk or tape markings on the ground, ropes, barriers or other markers as required. Where possible, implement one-direction traffic flow to promote physical distancing.

  • Ensure frequent hand hygiene is available for everyone before, during and after pumpkin picking with hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number).

  • Expand cleaning and disinfection of common/high-touch surfaces with the use of a Health Canada-approved product.

  • If photo stations are available, two metres of physical distancing must be maintained between household groups lining up to take photographs.

  • Photographers must maintain two metres of physical distance from groups or individuals being photographed.

  • The photo station must be disinfected between each group being photographed.

  • Any outdoor play areas in pumpkin patches must follow the Recreation Guidelines.

 


NITHA Public Health Unit, October 7, 2020


References

1. Government of Saskatchewan. Fall Activity Guidelines. Retrieved from: 


https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/re-open-saskatchewan-plan/guidelines/fall-activity-guidelines

2. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Holiday Celebrations. Retrieved from: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween

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