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Manitoba Issues Health Guidance for Thanksgiving, Halloween

October 2, 2020 2:52 PM | News

Thanksgiving Turkey

WINNIPEG — Manitoba health officials have come out with guidelines on how to keep you and your family safe during Thanksgiving and on Halloween.

The recommendations, released on Friday, echoed the government’s familiar tone when it comes to reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Those basic guidelines include staying home if you’re sick, even if your symptoms are only mild, washing/sanitizing your hands frequently, covering your cough, and social distancing when around people outside of your household.


For Thanksgiving gatherings next week, the province says it is recommended to limit holiday gatherings to household members, reduce your number of close contacts and limit the number of gatherings you attend to stop the spread of COVID-19.

  • People socializing in-person together are advised to physically distance themselves from members outside of their household, except for brief necessary exchanges.
  • Traditional greetings such as handshakes, kissing and hugging should be avoided.
  • As has always been the case, members of the same household do not need to physically distance from each other.
  • Minimize workplace and other social celebrations and maintain physical distancing.
  • Where possible, plan for all or part of a celebration/gathering to be held outdoors.
  • Where possible, consider virtual gatherings or other contactless celebrations.
  • Everyone attending should self-screen for symptoms using the COVID-19 screening tool or the COVID-19 screening questions before attending an in-person celebration or gathering. Stay home if you are sick.
  • Discourage attendance for people at higher risk of experiencing severe illness.
  • Do not share utensils, condiments or other objects. Consider having one individual designated to serve guests food to reduce the sharing of utensils. Or, order individual portions from a restaurant or caterer.
  • Maintain lists of attendees for 21 days to ensure appropriate public health follow-up can take place if an attendee is exposed to COVID-19 during the celebration or ceremony.


Halloween Pumpkins

Halloween decorations and pumpkins are shown at a house in Montreal, Friday, November 1, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

  • Household members who feel unwell should not take part. Use the COVID-19 screening tool or the COVID-19 screening questions before participating in activities.
  • If you start to feel unwell when out, return home as soon as you can.
  • Be aware of local Pandemic Response System levels and consider alternatives to trick or treating as appropriate to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Limit contact with non-household members. Trick-or-treat within your household.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently.
  • Where possible, provide individual contactless candy distribution. Use tools (e.g. tongs) to distribute candy at a distance.
  • Provide individual bags and avoid self-service such as a common candy bowl
  • Supervise, as needed, while maintaining physical distancing
  • Provide wrapped, store-bought treats only
  • Wear a non-medical mask while distributing candy