'Not the time for Halloween parties,' B.C.'s top doctor says as COVID-19 cases surge
A Halloween treat bucket wearing a face mask. (Shutterstock)
VANCOUVER -- As COVID-19 cases increased significantly over the weekend, B.C.'s top doctor is reminding residents that Halloween celebrations should be small, outdoors and ideally just for kids.
B.C. recorded more than 800 additional cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, which included a record-breaking 24-hour period when 317 positive tests were reported.
With Halloween on Saturday, Dr. Bonnie Henry urged British Columbians to be cautious.
"We've said this before and I've been very clear about this, we need to focus on small groups outside, do things with the kids to help them have a fun time in a small number," she said.
Earlier in the month, Henry encouraged small, family groups go door-to-door, and for those putting the light on for trick-or-treaters, innovative ways to hand out candy.
"One of my parent friends was talking about having a tube or a little line with clips where they can put little packages down to children at a distance," she said last week.
"So I think there are lots of things we can do it to make it safe."
But for adults, Henry had a different message.
"This is not the time for Halloween parties, for the adults getting together and having indoor parties," she said.
"That is not what we need and that cannot happen and now there is an order in place that restricts that as well."
That public health order, introduced on Monday, prohibits people from having more than six guests over inside their home.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control echoed Henry's comments, encouraging people to turn down invitations to larger parties and only have small gatherings with those in their social group.
"This Halloween will look a little different but it can still be a safe and fun time as long as you use your COVID-sense," said Dr. Eleni Galanis, physician epidemiologist with the BCCDC, in a news release Monday.
"For those who choose to trick-or-treat, follow public health guidelines to ensure you, your family, and your community stays safe."
Anyone feeling sick should stay home and turn off their porch light, the BCCDC says.