Don't pack up the costumes just yet. Halloween in Canada isn't entirely cancelled but Dr. Theresa Tam said there are still some activities that are still not safe to do this year. She also gave advice for people who want to trick-or-treat and those handing out candy.

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What's safe to do this year?

With the COVID-19 curve becoming more and more unflattened in a couple of provinces and the country as a whole, there's some concern about the upcoming holiday.

During a press conference on October 13, Dr. Tam addressed the Halloween situation in Canada.

She said that we have to figure out how to adapt to the new realities. 

It's also important to find the balance between keeping safe while also providing people with some sense of normalcy even though this year is so radically different from any other year.

"There are ways to actually manage this outdoors," Dr. Tam said.

So trick-or-treating isn't off the table.

However, doing stuff indoors poses a higher risk so activities like parties aren't safe this year.

"You should listen to your local public health directions because activity is different in different parts of Canada right now," Dr. Tam said.

What's Dr. Tam's advice for trick-or-treating?

With trick-or-treating, Dr. Tam has some advice for kids who want to head outside and for people handing out candy at their homes.

That includes doing it outside, keeping the proper distance apart, wearing a mask and having hand sanitizer ready.

She noted that different fabrics can be used to turn regular face masks into part of a costume so that it's safe and fun.

When it comes to handing out candy, there's something people can do.

"Pre-packaging treats so that people are not rummaging in a bowl of candies is actually important," Dr. Tam said.

She also suggested finding different ways to hand out goodies like having them at the end of a hockey stick so that trick-or-treaters don't have to get close to someone's door.

A Canadian actually created a candy slide so that people can stay distanced but still get treats.

What are some local public health authorities saying about Halloween?

As Dr. Tam said, following advice and guidelines from local officials is important because the COVID-19 situation is different across the country.

Some public health authorities have already released information about how to celebrate the holiday this year.

In Ottawa, people are being asked to do things other than trick-or-treating like gathering virtually to tell scary stories over FaceTime or Zoom and limiting in-person celebrations to people you live with. 

Another option is trick-or-treating inside the house that's like a Halloween-themed Easter egg hunt.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health said that the annual tradition of going house to house for candy should be fine in most parts of the province.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is advising people to skip Halloween parties, trick-or-treat in small groups and get creative with how they hand out candy.

New Brunswick's Chief Medical Officer said that no trick-or-treating will be allowed in parts of the province that are in the orange phase of recovery.

Alberta has released a Halloween Guide that includes recommendations like using tongs to hand out pre-packaged candy to avoid handling treats and hosting parties outdoors.

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