EDMONTON -- dir="ltr"> With Halloween planning underway, Alberta’s top doctor is reminding the public there’s still a need to celebrate responsibly. 

During a provincial COVID-19 update on Oct. 21, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw did not mince words: “I’m asking Albertans as clearly and strongly as possible to please be wise and safe while celebrating this year.”

Anyone who is sick or experiencing even mild symptoms should stay at home and not hand out candy, she said. 

She also reminded the public of the province’s current public health measures, which limit private indoor social gatherings for fully immunized Albertans to 10 people between two households. No private indoor gatherings are allowed by unvaccinated people. 

“This is not the year for large Halloween parties. If you’re planning a Halloween gathering, try to have it outdoors and make sure the limit of no more than 20 people is observed, with two metres of distancing between members of different households,” Hinshaw told the public. 

“The fun of finding the right costume and going out tick-or-treating is part of the joy of childhood, and we can keep this joy while at the same time protecting our communities.” 

The province has published a list of tips for safe Halloweening. 

Among the tips, it recommends anyone participating in trick-or-treating to be masked, sanitize frequently, to keep distanced from others, and stick with fellow household members. 

“Last, year, we saw many generous Albertans get innovative when finding ways to safely deliver candy, and I heard from many Alberans who enjoyed the day. We can have fun with it this year with creative ways to celebrate the occasion.”

During Halloween 2020, Alberta had about 5,600 active COVID-19 cases and some 140 patients in hospital sick with the disease. On Oct. 21, the province’s active case count was nearly double that, with more than 900 COVID-19 hospital patients.