No need to cancel Halloween, says Dr. Tam — as long as everyone follows the rules


Canada’s top public doctor says there’s no need to cancel Halloween this year — as long as trick-or-treaters respect the new realities of the pandemic.

“I think finding that balance of trying to provide some degree of normality, even though it is actually different from any other year, most public health leaders think that that is actually important,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam told a briefing in Ottawa this morning.

Tam advised parents and kids to maintain physical distancing while trick-or-treating outside, to stick to pre-packaged treats and to have hand sanitizer readily available.

She also said that a creative use of “different fabrics” can turn a day-to-day face mask into part of a costume.

“There’s some really interesting ideas where people are handing out treats at the end of a hockey stick or something, using a pool noodle to tell your kids how far they should be standing apart from each other,” she said. “So there are ways to actually manage this outdoors.”

Tam stressed that parents and children should follow guidelines set by local health authorities, as some local COVID-19 caseloads are far larger than others.

Both Tam and her colleague, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo, said more tips will be posted to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website soon.

WATCH: Dr. Theresa Tam’s tips for a pandemic Halloween

Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam offered guidance today to parents on how to have a safe Halloween. 1:30

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