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Public health guidelines offer safe practices for a no-risk Halloween weekend

Public health is reminding everyone to stay safe on Halloween weekend, with a set of tips to avoid COVID-19 transmission.
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Sask. public health has a list of tips for trick-or-treaters to stay safe this Halloween.

REGINA — Public health is continuing to recommend residents stick to safe practices this Halloween, with the release of some COVID-19 advice for the weekend.

While no gathering restrictions are in place to cancel festivities, public health is asking people to follow a few recommendations to prevent transmission this weekend.

Chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said that the first and foremost bit of advice is to stay home and avoid others if you are feeling unwell.

Outdoor gatherings are also a good idea this year, said public health, and residents are encouraged to take advantage of activities like visiting a corn maze or pumpkin patch.

Those headed out for trick-or-treating have a few familiar tips to keep in mind:
Head out in small groups, preferably only with others from within the same household;
Wear a mask — and make it more fun by incorporating it into your costume;
Keep up a physical distance of at least two metres between other groups of treaters on doorsteps.

For those handing out candy, public health says to do so while wearing a mask, and to consider packaging candy in individual bags to hand out at a distance — like using a pair of tongs or another type of delivery system.

As always, diligent hand hygiene is also strongly encouraged, for both children hitting doorsteps and homeowners handing out candy.

As for the older crowd who are looking at hosting a spooky gathering with friends, Shahab said that essentially the same principles from Thanksgiving will apply to Halloween celebrations. 

“If you want to get together, keep your group small, consistent and fully vaccinated,” said Shahab. “I think [this] is going to be key.”

Once again, public health is recommending outdoor gatherings as best practice, but those gathering indoors are advised to wear masks and avoid sharing any food or drink. 

Shahab said that while there was a surge in case numbers following Halloween weekend last year, it is possible that this year may not see the same trend.

“This year, we have higher case numbers, the more transmissible Delta variant, but we have the added protection of vaccines,” said Shahab. “We just need to be a little careful.”