With Ontario reporting an additional 170 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, primarily in the GTA, Toronto has been continuously finding ways to combat the spread of the virus—including the possibility of banning trick-or-treating this Halloween.
In an interview with CP24 on Wednesday, Toronto Mayor John Tory said he won’t hesitate to cancel trick-or-treating this fall if public health officials advise him that it is too risky.
“We don’t have the power to just order Halloween cancelled but I can tell you right now if the medical officer of health’s advice to me is that I should say to parents ‘You should not go out and you should not be handing out candy and all those kinds of things because we think that it poses a risk, especially with the numbers going up’ I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to do that,” Tory said. “As much as you hate to be the one that announces things that are bad news for people, we just simply have to wrestle this thing (COVID-19) to the ground.”
Social media is fiercely debating over the issue, with some suggesting that the risk of coronavirus transmission is greater indoors compared to outdoor settings, and others appealing for kids’ safety.
Isn’t Halloween mostly outside in fresh air that limits virus transmission?
— Jim Goddard (@jimgoddard3) September 9, 2020
Frightful: Could COVID-19 cancel Halloween? https://t.co/3jH1YKLujx https://t.co/lSfZwctmoe TORONTO — Halloween falls on a Saturday under a full moon and on the last day of daylight savings time this year, a seemingly perfect convergence for a memorable fright … Read More
— Someone (@covid19__canada) August 17, 2020
No Canadian city has officially cancelled trick-or-treating as yet. B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry even confirmed on Wednesday that the province can still celebrate Halloween this year, although it would look different, including trick-or-treating in smaller groups and pre-packed bags of candy at the end of a driveway rather than having kids knock on doors.
Q: How will you get more ppl to get flu vaccine? What were numbers last year?
A (Dr. Henry): Want everyone who can get flu vaccine to get it. It’s safe, effective (though not 100% depending on strain). Last year was mild season. In southern hemisphere they had mild season.. 1/2
— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) September 9, 2020
In Los Angeles, which had 671 new COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, the LA County Department of Public Health is recommending that trick-or-treating—or even “trunk-or-treating” (car-to-car candy dispersal)—not happen this year, although dressing up homes and yards with Halloween decorations will still be allowed, in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.