Have Fun and Stay Safe This Halloween

October 27, 2020

Media Contact: Breanne Forbes Hubbard, population health manager, Breanne.forbes-hubbard@vdh.virginia.gov, 276-759-8297

Have Fun and Stay Safe This Halloween

(Marion, Va.) — Halloween is in the air, but COVID-19 doesn’t have to be! Just like many things in recent months, Halloween celebrations will be different this year. In order to prevent cases associated with Halloween festivities, please plan to celebrate safely.

“COVID-19 cases are rising in our health district,” said Karen Shelton MD, director of the Mount Rogers Health District. “We encourage everyone to think creatively about new ways to celebrate Halloween this year, and take precautions to avoid spreading the virus to your family, friends, and neighbors.”

Generally, the closer people are together and the longer the time, the greater the risk. To reduce that risk:

  • Watch your distance. Avoid close contact – closer than six feet – with people who do not live with you.
  • Wear a cloth face covering – a Halloween mask is NOT a substitute.
  • Wash your hands frequently and well. Take hand sanitizer with you if you will be participating in activities away from your home.

The best way to avoid becoming infected is to avoid being exposed to the virus altogether.

Some Halloween activities are safer; some pose higher risk. The highest risk activities – that are not recommended – include traditional trick-or-treating door to door (children reaching into a bowl or close contact during candy distribution), trunk-or-treating with cars lined up closely in parking lots or enclosed spaces, crowded indoor costume parties, indoor haunted houses, hayrides or tractor rides, and any large or close gatherings.

Moderate risk activities – that should be done with extreme caution, while maintaining distance and wearing face coverings – include one-way trick-or-treating with individually wrapped treats, trunk-or-treating with spaced out vehicles and pre-packaged treats, outdoor costume parties or outdoor Halloween movie night. Make sure to wash your hands before preparing or handing out treats.

Lower risk activities include carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household, decorating your house or yard, a scavenger hunt or a virtual costume contest.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test in the past 10 days, or contact in the past 14 days with someone who tested positive, it is important to stay home and not infect others. Please do not participate in trick-or-treating this year.

For more information about COVID-19 and holiday safety, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/schools-workplaces-community-locations/social-gatherings/ and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/halloween.html.

For more information about COVID-19, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.

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