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47% of Vernon parents say no trick-or-treating this Halloween: Poll

Vote still split but trend points to smaller Halloween turnout amid COVID-19 pandemic
Siblings Bethany Wetzstein, 8, and brother Justin, 11 celebrated Halloween together in Vernon. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star file)

To trick-or-treat or not, that is the question. And it appears Vernon-area parents are still debating it, but it’s looking like this year’s spooky festivities will likely be smaller than years previous.

A recent poll asked Morning Star readers if their kids would be trick-or-treating this Halloween amid the COVID-19 pandemic and 47 per cent of those polled said not this year, while 39 per cent said “absolutely.”

Almost 20 per cent of respondents said they were still undecided.


British Columbia’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said trick-or-treating can take place this year, things will just “look different.”

“I really think we need to think about small groups, outside,” Dr. Henry said last month.

READ MORE: No Treat Trail in downtown Vernon this Halloween

She suggested keeping the candy transactions at the end of the driveway instead of at doorsteps and to prepackage treats instead of having a communal pot that kids rummage through.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (CDC) released guidelines for families hoping to trick-or-treat on Halloween on Oct. 5.

The CDC said children must take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including sticking to their neighbourhood, using hand sanitizer before and after snacking and wearing a non-medical mask that covers the nose and mouth.

Children are not advised to wear a second costume mask on top of a non-medical mask.

Those looking to hand out treats to the ghouls and witches from their neighbourhood are urged to use tongs, place candy on a tray and avoid using a shared bowl.

People handing out treats are also asked to wear a non-medical mask and stay outside for better ventilation, this will also keep kids from touching the doorbell, according to the CDC.

The CDC warns Halloween-decoration aficionados to avoid using smoke machines or anything else that could cause coughing.

Those in self-isolation or quarantine are told to keep the lights off and trick-or-treaters are asked to avoid houses that have their lights off.

The CDC said there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread when people eat food prepared by others. However, frequent hand-washing and not cooking or attending gatherings when experiencing symptoms is key to reducing the spread of the virus.

READ MORE: POLL: What will trick-or-treating look in Vernon?

READ MORE: B.C. CDC releases Thanksgiving, Halloween tips for COVID-safe fall celebrations


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