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Sorry, Newmarket, there's no trick or treating this Halloween

Kids in York, Toronto, Peel and Ottawa should find other ways to celebrate this year, Ontario's chief medical officer of health advises
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With York Region in a modified stage 2 as of this morning, Ontario's chief medical officer of health is advising that children should not go trick or treating from door to door this Halloween. 

Dr. David Williams made the recommendation on Monday, suggesting that families should choose safer ways to mark the occasion as COVID-19 cases rise in York Region, as well as other regions that have returned to increased restrictions.

Alternative ways to celebrate the most spooktacular night of the year include:

  • Encouraging kids to dress up and participate in virtual activities and parties;
  • Organizing a Halloween candy hunt with people living in their own household;
  • Carving pumpkins;
  • Having a movie night or sharing scary stories and;
  • Decorating front lawns.

“We’re trying to make it as safe and simple as possible, my friends, we all know this isn’t going to be a regular Halloween,” Premier Doug Ford said today in a news briefing. “We just can’t have hundreds of kids showing up at your door if you live in a hotspot, especially in an apartment building.”

Outside of York, Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa, Williams said trick-or-treaters should only go outside with members of their own household and only collect candy given to them outdoors.

Also for those in regions in stage 3 of the province's COVID reopening plan, it's advised you use tongs or other implements to hand out candy rather than touching it with your hands, as well as use hand sanitizer or wash your hands often.

In addition, masks and face coverings — which doesn't include Halloween costume masks — should be worn at all times.

High-risk activities like indoor haunted houses or Halloween parties with people outside your household should be avoided this year, according to public health officials.

The province has created posters, which you can hang in your window to let candy seekers know whether or not you are handing out treats.