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B.C.'s top doctor is reminding you to keep your gatherings small this Halloween

Last Updated Oct 30, 2020 at 7:10 am PST

FILE - People go trick or treating in the rain on Halloween in Ottawa, on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Summary

'No Halloween parties this weekend': B.C.'s top doctor is reminding you to be responsible due to rising COVID-19 risk

Dr. Bonnie Henry is giving trick or treating the OK if precautions are taken, is clear big gatherings won't be tolerated

People in the Fraser Health region are being asked to skip out on gatherings, even small ones, altogether this Halloween

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – While B.C.’s top doctor is giving the thumbs up to trick-or-treating this weekend, it’s a different story when it comes to parties.

“No Halloween parties this weekend,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said during her COVID-19 update on Thursday. “This Halloween weekend we need to celebrate in new ways. We need to keep our groups small.”

It comes days after she issued a new provincial health order, limiting gatherings at homes to no more than the people living there plus six others in their “safe bubble.”

“This is because many of the things we do at parties and celebrations, things like talking and hugging and eating and drinking together indoors are much, much riskier. Particularly now.”

But Henry said if you plan to get together with people in your safe six this weekend, it should maybe be at a restaurant instead of someone’s home.

“It does prevent transmission of this virus. There are some very clear reasons for this. First, for most of us, our homes do not have the space for everybody to keep that safe distance that we need right now. Second, our homes don’t have those layers of protection that we have built in to other places to slow the spread of COVID-19,” she explained.

“We don’t use such things as plexi-glass barriers and one-way pathways in our homes, which naturally means that we will be closer to each other.”

Unlike at the grocery store or a school, we’re also more likely to forget about precautions at home because we’re more familiar and comfortable with our setting, Henry added.

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“Many of the new cases we have today are directly linked to gatherings — in our homes and elsewhere — that are now resulting in community transmission of COVID-19 across the province. But this has been particularly the case in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Health region.”

People in the Fraser Health region are being asked to skip out on gatherings, even small ones, altogether this weekend.

“Even small gatherings can be risky right now,” Fraser Health Authority President Dr. Victoria Lee said Thursday. “At this crucial time, we’re asking people who reside in the Fraser Health region to take a pause and reconsider as our social interactions outside of our households.”

The Fraser Health region has seen the majority of COVID-19 cases in the province.

When it comes to trick-or-treating, Henry said that should be kept small too.

“It can be done safely, outside, with small groups. Making sure that we give the others the space to stay safe and also importantly to respect those homes that are choosing not to participate this year.”