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Canada can still celebrate Halloween: health authorities

Un costume d'Halloween dans le quartier de Boerum Hill, New York, le 21 octobre 2019 - Angela Weiss / ©AFP
Un costume d'Halloween dans le quartier de Boerum Hill, New York, le 21 octobre 2019 - Angela Weiss / ©AFP

(AFP)

The coronavirus pandemic has upended life around the world but there’s no reason Canada can’t still get some treats on Halloween — as long as measures to stop the virus’s spread are upheld, health authorities said Tuesday.

“In my opinion, it’s an important occasion. We have to keep events, important occasion for our society and it’s very important for children,” deputy public health officer Howard Njoo told reporters when asked about Covid-19 risks at Halloween.

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“I encourage Halloween but with good public health practices,” Njoo said, adding it is “possible to give candy, receive candy in a safe way.”

But trick-or-treating on October 31 must be done outside houses, said Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer.

She suggested creative methods for respecting health and safety measures, such as incorporating face masks into costumes, handing out candy with a hockey stick or using a “pool noodle” to keep distance between children.

Ultimately, however, given the disparity in the number of cases between Canadian provinces, it will be up to local officials to decide whether Halloween can happen, the health officials said.

As of Tuesday, Canada had recorded 185,371 cases of Covid-19 with 9,645 deaths.

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