National Post (Latest Edition)

Say trick or treat, but don’t yell

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TORONTO • Trick-or-treating is back this year — just not too loudly.

Last year, the Ford government recommende­d kids in the COVID-19 hot spots of Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York regions not go trick-ortreating, but this year, Ontario’s top doctor says children should feel free to go door to door.

It should happen outdoors as much as possible, with kids wearing a face mask — not a costume mask, not crowding door steps, or shouting too loudly, Dr. Kieran Moore said.

“It’s just not to yell too exuberantl­y,” he said. “Clearly you have to make your presence known to get your treat, and you have to be able to knock as well as ask for the treat. We just ask not with a high volume that could potentiall­y aerosolize. It’s an abundance of caution.”

More traditiona­l Thanksgivi­ng celebratio­ns can also go ahead this year, though with some COVID-19 precaution­s, Moore said. Last year, gatherings were limited to immediate households.

“But thanks to our collective efforts to get vaccinated and to follow public health guidance, we are able to gather together with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgivi­ng this year, provided public health measures are followed,” he said.

People should use outdoor spaces whenever possible. When everyone is vaccinated, people can gather indoors without masks, but if there are people from multiple households and some guests are unvaccinat­ed, people should wear face coverings and physically distance, he said.

As always, people should stay home if experienci­ng any symptoms of COVID-19, Moore said, but otherwise, they should be able to enjoy time with friends and family.

“I am only too aware of the negative impacts the social isolation can have and the need to spend time with our loved ones,” he said.

“That is why we want families to embrace the opportunit­y to get together for their mental, physical and social well-being.”

Moore also said a number of recent outbreaks have been associated with weddings, and he notes that next week proof of vaccinatio­n will be required to attend weddings and funerals in meeting and event spaces.

Ontario reported 587 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, and six new deaths. Of those infected, 423 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccinatio­n status, health officials said.

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