Celebrating Halloween: Tricks and Tips

Written by Comms Team, October 28, 2021

Residents Strongly Encouraged to Know the Risks and Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

As Halloween approaches, Peterborough Public Health is sharing tips for how to plan fun and safe celebrations.

“Halloween is an exciting time of year for all ages, and it is important to plan COVID-19-safe Halloween activities while also remembering traditional Public Health ‘tricks’,” said Julie Ingram, Manager of Environmental Health. “Whether you’re trick-or-treating or attending a party, be sure to follow the social gathering limits and avoid crowds.”

On a more traditional side, start the night with a nutritious supper with protein, whole grains and vegetables and fruit. Let kids decide how much candy to consume—self-regulation is an important life-skill. Have an adult check the candy haul for tampering and allergens before eating treats.

For those trick-or-treating, Peterborough Public Health recommends:

  • Screen for COVID-19 symptoms before trick-or-treating. Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms or feel ill, even for minor symptoms like a runny nose.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when knocking on a door or going inside. A costume mask should not be worn as a substitute or over a face covering.
  • Make sure costumes are visible at night by wearing bright or reflective clothing.
  • Avoid crowding in hallways or by doors.
  • Wash or sanitize hands frequently. Make sure hands are clean before eating any treats.
  • Throw away anything homemade or repackaged treats.

For those handing out treats, we recommend:

  • Using tongs or other tools when handing out treats. Avoid leaving treats in a bowl for trick-or-treaters to grab.
  • Wearing a face covering that fully covers your mouth, nose, and chin.
  • If you hand out treats indoors, place a sign asking to knock instead of ringing the doorbell. If you do use a doorbell try to frequently disinfect it.
  • Sanitize other frequently touched surfaces such as railings or doorknobs.
  • Only offer commercially-packaged treats.

For anyone who is looking to attend a costume party or other similar gathering, Peterborough Public Health is reminding residents that private social gatherings must be limited to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings are encouraged over indoor gatherings. Remember to wash your hands frequently and avoid sharing food or drinks. Be aware of who your close contacts are, and maintain physical distancing. Hosts are encouraged to keep a list of guests in case contact tracing is needed.

Some people may not be comfortable with going out. Check in with your family and friends and think about connecting virtually. Some residents may not feel comfortable handing out treats this year. Look for signage to indicate whether a house is participating and whether porch lights are on or off. Please be respectful of person decisions to participate or not.

A couple alternate options for those not comfortable going out include:

  • Making spooky snacks at home with your household instead of going out. Kids as young as two can get involved in the action! Learn more at Cooking-with-Kids.pdf (peterboroughpublichealth.ca)
  • Decorating your house. Have a contest with your neighbours. Remember to physically distance if you’re not part of the same household and wear a non-medical mask or face covering if you can’t keep two meters apart.
  • Having an outdoor scavenger hunt with those in your household.

For more Halloween and social gathering safety tips please visit: https://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-social-gatherings-holidays-events/.


For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391