It’s that time of the year again when kids get to dress up as their favorite characters, go trick or treating, and get as much candy as they can.

Halloween is right around the corner and Dr. Kit Young Hoon Medical Officer of Health for the Northwestern Health Unit outlines COVID-19 safety measures to keep kids safe.

“The safety measures for Halloween focus on the same basic principles that we always talk about,” said Young Hoon.

The NWHU has outlined the following recommended safety measures for Halloween:

When trick-or-treating door-to-door:

• Stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild.

• Trick-or-treat outdoors. If trick-or-treating indoors, maintain physical distancing and wear a face covering.

• Make a face covering part of your costume. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering and wearing a costume mask over a non-medical mask can make it hard to breathe.

• Take turns on doorsteps to avoid crowding.

• Keep all visits short with people giving out treats.

• Use hand sanitizer often:

• before and after handling your face covering

• after touching frequently touched surfaces

• when you arrive home from trick-or-treating

• before and after handling or eating treats

When handing out treats:

• Do not participate if you have symptoms, even if they are mild.

• Keep trick-or-treat visits short.

• Consider wearing a face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

• Only give out purchased and packaged treats.

• Clean your hands often throughout the evening using soap and water or hand sanitizer

Halloween was a go last year in the NWHU region as similar COVID-19 measures were in place, but some regions in the province were recommended against trick or treating.

The vaccine coverage rates continue to climb in the NWHU area and across the province.

The latest statistics for the NWHU catchment area show 88.1 per cent of those aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 81.7 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Provincially 87.5 per cent of the eligible population have received their first dose while 83.2 per cent of Ontarians are fully immunized.