City of Hamilton releases guidelines to celebrate Halloween safely

With the clear risks of the COVID-19 pandemic playing a role in the spooky festivities this year, many Hamiltonians are wondering if there are creative and safe ways to celebrate Halloween.

To be sure, the messaging from multiple medical professionals and levels of government has been inconsistent at best, with some offering adjusted ways to enjoy Halloween and trick-or-treating safely, and others advising that the best course of action is to cancel it altogether.

The City of Hamilton has released its own guidelines for the frightful holiday this year, and while public health advises that the best course of action is to ditch the parties and stay home, some creative options are offered to locals who are still determined to carry on with the Halloween fun.

For instance, anyone handing out candy this year is advised to wear a mask or face covering at all times, wash your hands frequently, and set up a distanced treat station to reduce contact.

Self-serve bowls of candy are discouraged as high-contact surfaces, and some inventive solutions to candy distribution are offered as well, including building a makeshift candy slide or catapult to aid in a no-touch, socially distanced exchange.

For those who still want to trick-or-treat, it is advised that children only gather closely with those in their immediate households and stay at least 2 metres away from anyone else. Mask-wearing and frequent hand-washing – especially before eating candy – are also urged.

Trick-or-treaters should also avoid high-touch surfaces such as handrails and doorbells, and sanitize immediately if touching any surface.

Even with these guidelines in place, however, it’s hard to say how many locals will ultimately jump on the trick-or-treating train this year. Many neighbourhoods and communities may simply opt to keep the porch lights dark and call the year off.

To read the full release, visit the City of Hamilton website.

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