Halloween in a pandemic: Health officials and police prepare for an unusual night

Halloween in a pandemic: Health officials and police prepare for an unusual night
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WatchHalloween falling on a Saturday usually opens up the floodgates for large parties, gatherings and crowds - But as COVID-19 continues to spread quickly around the province, police and public health officials are pleading to the public to keep it small. Ben nesbit reports

It comes as no surprise, this Halloween won’t be like any other.

While dazzling displays of decorations and clever costumes will still be front and centre, large gatherings and crowds are a no go, as COVID-19 continues to spread.

The unofficial holiday comes as the second wave of the pandemic strikes fast and hard across the country. Thanksgiving weekend became the epicentre of several outbreaks in B.C., and the Chief Provincial Health Officer is determined to not let that happen this time around.

On Tuesday, Dr. Bonnie Henry put another public health order in place, restricting all household gatherings to household members plus a “safe six”.

“This Halloween weekend we need to celebrate in new ways. We need to keep our groups small. Particularly our own households and homes and small if we’re going out in the streets.” Henry said.

While parties and large gatherings are prohibited, B.C.’s top doctor is still in favour of trick or treating if done safely.

“If we are doing trick or treating, it needs to be small. And it can be done safely, outside in small groups,” said the PHO.

For Saanich Police, Halloween is always a busy night, but this year they are not sure what to expect.

“Were still planning as if the pandemic wasn’t happening because we don’t know what that is going to look like.” Said Cst. Mike Bainbridge.

While they won’t be changing up their approach, the department is fully prepared to enforce all public health orders.

“I believe we’re prepared for it if we have to. Obviously, there’s the new restrictions from the public health officer that we have a duty to enforce. So if we come across a situation where we need to deal with that, we’ll deal with that as we would with any other party or situation,” said Bainbridge.

Breaking the “safe six” order can result in a $2000 fine.

Ben NesbitBen Nesbit

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