Decorating pumpkins, picking out a costume, and eating candy are just a few things that make Halloween so fun. While some traditions may look different this year, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday while staying safe from COVID-19. This Halloween, be prepared, not scared.
Consider the following risk levels when deciding on your Halloween plans this year:
Low Risk: Celebrating virtually or within your own household
Medium Risk: Small outdoor costume parties with individuals from a few households who stay six feet apart, wear masks, and do not share objects.
High Risk: Medium or large in-person indoor celebrations where it is difficult to stay six feet apart.
No matter how you choose to celebrate Halloween this year, the Jackson County Health Department wants you to keep the following in mind:
- Social distance at least six feet from people you do not live with.
- Wear an appropriate mask that covers your mouth and nose. Both those handing out and receiving treats should be wearing an appropriate face covering. (Halloween masks are not considered safe protection from spreading the virus)
- Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer often.
- Do your best to stay close to home and within your own neighborhood.
- Stay home if you feel sick or have had contact with somebody who has COVID-19.
Although door-to-door trick-or-treating interactions are typically quick, they involve close and frequent contact. Often, many kids and families gather at doors or on sidewalks. The more households visited, the greater the chance that germs can spread and linger. It might be manageable to keep your own children six feet from others with their masks on, but with many children roaming around, sidewalks and doorsteps could get full.
- Limit trick-or-treating to small groups of those whom you live with.
- People who want to hand out treats are advised to place them on a table six feet away from the door. Those handing out treats should wash their hands before handling treats.
- Do not gather at a house or door. If others are trick-or-treating in front of you, stay back until they finish to ensure social distancing. If an area or street is busy, choose another spot.
- Trunk-or-treating may be riskier if social distancing is not strictly enforced. Trunk-or-treating events must follow gathering limitations while ensuring social distancing and appropriate mitigation tactics.
- Look ahead to see if those handing out goodies are wearing a mask and social distancing. Skip that home if they aren’t following basic preventative guidelines.
- All parties should follow gathering limits to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
- Indoor parties and celebrations with limited social distancing and without masks have the highest risk of COVID-19 transmission.
- If you do have a party, consider having it outdoors. All gatherings need to maintain social distancing and adhere to gathering limits.
Here are some suggestions for having a fun and safe Halloween during COVID-19:
- Make Halloween treats or bake cookies
- Carve or decorate pumpkins
- Make Halloween art
- Watch a Halloween movie
- Host an online costume contest
- Set up a scavenger hunt
In addition to COVID-19 considerations, remember to take normal Halloween safety precautions into account. There are several easy and effective behaviors that parents can share with kids to help reduce their risk of injury. Check out these tips.
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