Ontario’s top doctor recommends against trick-or-treating in COVID-19 hot zones

Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa have been rolled back to a modified Stage 2

Ghosts and goblins in Ontario’s COVID-19 hot zones are being advised not to go trick-or-treating.

The Halloween recommendation was made by provincial Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams in a statement on Monday.

“Given the high transmission of COVID-19 in the modified Stage 2 public health unit regions of Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region, traditional door-to-door trick or treating is not recommended and people should consider alternative ways to celebrate,” he said.

At his media briefing on Monday, Premier Ford said he wasn’t cancelling Halloween.

He suggested families living in the hot zones should consider alternatives to trick-or-treating such as a scavenger hunt or carving pumpkins, or watching a scary movie.

“We’re trying to make it as safe and as simple as possible,” said Ford. “My friends, we all know this isn’t going to be a regular Halloween.”

He said the steps taken now “will determine what the holiday seasons looks like this year.”

“We just can’t have hundreds of kids showing up at your door if you live in a hotspot.”

The province reported 704 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.

Toronto recorded 244 cases, 168 in Peel, 103 in York Region, and 51 in Ottawa.

Only 31,900 tests were completed, which is well below the provincial target of 50,000.

The province said there were also 607 resolved cases.

There were 43 new cases of the virus reported in Simcoe Muskoka on Monday since the health unit’s last update on Friday, and two new deaths. There are three people hospitalized with COVID-19, unchanged from Friday, and there have been 23 recoveries since the last update.