With Halloween quickly approaching, the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) is outlining ways community members can stay safe throughout the spooky holiday amidst a global pandemic.

COVID-19 has made communal candy bowls and large groups of costumed kids on doorsteps things of the past, at least for this year anyway.

But there are ways to keep trick-or-treaters and the people giving out treats safe and healthy.

Dr Nnamdi Ndubuka, NITHA’s medical health officer, has some advice for community members who will be handing out candy this Oct. 31.

“They should use tools, such as thongs, to hand out candies at a distance, and this will help to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” he said. “The other thing we’re strongly encouraging is the need for disinfecting (candy) wrappers.”

Ndubuka also said people could place markings down on the pathway to their house to make sure children remain at a safe distance from each other.

For trick-or-treaters, Ndubuka said there are ways to be safe but still have fun.

“They should carry hand-sanitizer with them and consider incorporating non-medical masks into their costume, so that way in situations where physical distancing is not feasible, then they can use the non-medical mask.”.

Ndubuka noted that many parents may be wary about their children taking part in Halloween festivities this year.

He said he recommends parents keep their children home if they are uncomfortable with the idea of going door-to-door trick-or-treating.

Ndubuka also advised parents accompany their children if they do decide to let them go out on Halloween night.

The medical health officer reminds parents COVID-19 remains a significant threat.

“I just want to encourage our community members to remain vigilant and to not let their guard down at this point when the communities have done a lot of work in collaboration with public health experts to significantly reduce the curve of COVID-19.”

The provincial government has also posted its Halloween guidelines online.

(PHOTO: Courtesy Halloween Facebook page.)