WINNIPEG -- In a year where masks are more about safety than being scary, it’s no surprise that some families have decided to skip Halloween. But others are getting creative, carving out new ways to keep up the frights and fun even during a pandemic.

With a surge in new COVID-19 cases across Canada, gathering sizes have been limited in most provinces and Halloween parties prohibited as officials weigh the challenges of health and horror.

In Winnipeg, one of Canada’s COVID-19 hotspots, trick-or-treating is still considered a safe activity with precautions. Health officials are advising people to avoid communal candy bowls and to use masks and tongs to hand out treats.

Despite these tips, a recent poll suggests more than half of Canadian parents surveyed (52 per cent) say their kids will not go out because of COVID-19. The survey also noted that only one of every three homes (31 per cent) is expected to hand out candy this year.

Denise Gilkie, a resident in Williamswood, N.S., says she still decided to decorate the front of her home with a graveyard and a morgue. “I generally start hauling out the stuff in the middle of September,” she says.

Canadians have already come up with creative ideas to help celebrate Halloween during a pandemic. Some suggestions include pinning candy bags to a tree in front of their house and building mechanisms like a candy chute to avoid any physical contact.

Jake Rempel is going the extra mile in Steinbach, Man., by making a candy ferris wheel.

“If I can social distance and try to make Halloween as normal as possible, maybe even a little better than normal. I’m going to try and do it,” he says.

With COVID-19 now the scariest thing out there, Halloween has been scaled back, and so have the sales of costumes and accessories at many party stores.

Jonathan Glass, co-owner of the story Party Stuff, told CTV News: “With our hearts we know we still want to celebrate these things, but with our brain we know we have to do it responsibly and carefully.”