Halloween Safety Tips

Published on October 29, 2020

While Halloween may look a bit different this year, due to COVID-19, the Cornwall Police Service (CPS) is hopeful that everyone will find a way to enjoy the night safely. 

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is strongly recommending that local residents avoid traditional ways of celebrating Halloween, including not trick-or-treating this year, but rather to choose safer alternatives instead. Going out trick-or-treating or handing out treats increases your family’s risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 because it exposes you to many other people. They have provided several recommendations for alternative ways of celebrating below:

  • Do not host or attend any in-person Halloween parties or gatherings with individuals outside of your immediate household. Instead, celebrate at home with the people you live with, or with your chosen social support person(s) if you live alone.
  • Launch a virtual competition with your neighbors for the best outdoor Halloween decorations.
    Organize a virtual costume party online with friends.
  • Watch a scary movie with the people you live with or your chosen social support person(s) if you live alone. There are plenty of Halloween movies that will get you in the spirit. If the weather permits, set it up in your backyard.
  • Plan a special evening looking at the full moon. The last time there was one on October 31 was 2001.
  • Set up an at-home candy treasure hunt for your children.
  • Eat a fun and spooky meal you have made with those you live with or that chosen social support person(s) if you live alone.
  • Save the pumpkin carving for Halloween night so you have another activity to look forward to.
  • Enjoy some other fall activities that day and evening, like an outdoor corn maze or apple picking.

For those who do choose to trick-or-treat, the EOHU has also provided several safety tips below:

  • Choose a costume that allows you/your child to wear a non-medical mask. A costume mask isn’t a substitute for a face covering and shouldn’t be worn over a face covering as it may make it difficult to breathe.
  • Only trick-or-treat outside. Stay in your own community, away from busy areas.
  • Go only with members of your direct household. Keep at least 2 metres distance from others.
  • Where possible, knock instead of pushing doorbells, or keep 2 metres from the door or porch and call “trick or treat”.
  • Bring hand sanitizer, and use it before handling candy, or after touching high-touch surfaces like doorbells, doors, or railings.

As in previous years, the CPS would also like to provide some suggestions for trick-or-treaters who choose to take part in Halloween:

  • Bring a flashlight;
  • Walk instead of running;
  • Stay on the sidewalks (If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left-hand side of the street facing traffic);
  • Avoid jaywalking;
  • Do not cut across lawns or take short-cuts;
  • Do not go inside houses and do not get into vehicles;
  • Only visit houses that are lit;
  • Wear a light-coloured or bright costume, reflective tape or arm bands to heighten visibility.
  • Wear a costume that is properly fitted to reduce the chance of tripping on it.
  • Select a costume that is constructed from flame-retardant materials.
  • Make sure your vision is not restricted.
  • Stay away from animals you are not familiar with; and
  • Vandalism is not just a 'trick' - it is against the law and has consequences.

No matter how you choose to celebrate, we wish you a safe and happy Halloween!

For more recommendations by the EOHU, click here.

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