Re-thinking birthday parties and playdates in COVID-19

COVID-19 means we need to re-think children’s playdates and birthday parties. We urge everyone to stay within the guidelines and stay safe by limiting engagement with others outside your immediate family.

It may not be clear why you should not see other people in your own home when things like school and shopping are still happening. The difference lies in the rules and guidelines around schools and shopping that do not apply in the home.

Schools and businesses require face coverings, personal distancing, and the use of hand sanitizer. These protective measures are working – we have not seen any COVID-19 transmission in these settings in Grey Bruce!

Of the cases of COVID-19 transmission in Grey Bruce to date, the majority take place in homes, at more familiar events like family gatherings, dinners, and celebrations. These events are when we tend to let down our guard. Few of us wear a face covering and practice personal distancing at home with our family.

In school, children have their own “cohort”. However, that does not mean it is safe for children in the same cohort to socialize after school, such as at playdates, sleepovers or a birthday party. Every additional contact from outside our household increases our risk; risk is communicative. Consider that cohorts from school do not reflect how that family is practicing safe guidelines outside of school. Virtual visits and parties are a safe option.

If you have any questions, or to learn more, please review our celebrations resource.