COVID-19: How to have a gourd time on Halloween

Here’s how to celebrate Halloween safely with some new ideas, as well as guidelines from Alberta Health Services.

13 October 2020

The fact of the matter is that 2020 has been hard, for many reasons. Now that we are through Thanksgiving, many are turning their attention to how to celebrate Halloween in a spooky manner while staying safe from COVID-19.

It goes without saying now, that if you, your friends or your family are feeling unwell or showing any symptoms, Alberta Health Services recommends you stay home and not hand out treats in order to keep yourself and your community safe.

The pandemic has forced us all to become even more creative and think of activities that promote our mental, physical and social wellbeing in non-traditional ways!

Celebrating without leaving the house

There are numerous ways to enjoy the Halloween fun that don’t necessarily include leaving your home but can include your friends and family.

  • Have a Netflix party and watch some scary favourites together
  • Set up a spooktacular outdoor movie theatre in your own backyard
  • Get creative with a pumpkin carving contest
  • Plan a sweet scavenger hunt at home to satisfy that much needed candy fix
  • Gather your cohort for a socially distanced gathering where you can do any of the above in person
Going Trick-or-Treating

The benefit of Halloween is that traditionally most of the activities occur outdoors. Therefore, if you plan to go Trick-or-Treating with friends and family here are a few tips to help reduce the risk.

  • Design a costume that incorporates wearing a mask and gloves.
  • Limit the size of your group.
  • Plan your route ahead of time.
  • Limit the number of houses you visit.
  • Bring hand sanitizer or wipes for frequent use.
Giving out Candy

If the amazing fall weather holds, there are a number of different ways to shake up this traditional activity while maintaining social precautions.

  • Bundle up and make use of that outside fire table before winter! Hand out your treats outside and connect with friends and neighbours!
  • Use your creative energy to employ different candy distribution methods! A basket, tongs, or a homemade candy slide!
  • Cover your doorbell with decorations to encourage knocking or calling out.
  • Wipe down outdoor high touch surfaces such as hand rails and doors frequently throughout the evening.
  • Wear a non-medical mask, even beneath a costume mask.

Alberta Health Services has developed guidelines for Halloween and COVID-19 that include several ideas and suggestions for safe practices. As with any suggestion, it is up to each of us to determine which approach is best for our own circumstance. No matter which option you chose, Halloween provides the opportunity to increase our social connection, which is critical for maintaining our resilience.