It’s October, which means the weather is getting cooler, leaves are falling and the countdown to Halloween has officially begun.
As you make plans this fall, don’t forget about COVID-19. We must do everything we can to protect individuals, their families, and friends against this virus.
That starts with assessing current coronavirus levels to determine whether to host or attend a celebration.
“There are several factors that contribute to the risk of getting infected or infecting others with the virus that causes COVID-19,” the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said. “In combination, these factors will create various amounts of risk, so it is important to consider them individually and together.”
How can I stay safe?
So, you’ve reviewed the CDC’s holiday risk factors and decided to get together with friends and/or family.
Here’s what you need to do to protect yourself and others:
- Practice social distancing – or stay 6 feet apart.
- Wear a mask, especially indoors or in groups of 10 or more people.
- Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items.
- Wash your hands.
- Keep safe around food and drinks.
These simple measures can help reduce your risk of being exposed to, getting, or spreading COVID-19 in our community.
What activities are “high-risk”?
While no activity is completely risk-free, some Halloween traditions can be high-risk for spreading COVID-19 and other viruses.
The CDC’s full list of high-risk activities is as follows:
- Traditional, door-to-door trick-or-treating
- Trunk-or-treat events
- Crowded costume parties held indoors
- Indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming
- Hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
- Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
- Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19
Are there any safer alternatives?
Although trick-or-treating is not a COVID-safe activity this year, there are lots of other ways you can celebrate the season.
For example, you can decorate your living space or carve/decorate pumpkins with members of your household. You can also include friends or neighbors by carving or decorating pumpkins outside while at a safe distance.
Looking for something to do with the kids? Consider hosting a scavenger hunt, where children receive lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house-to-house while admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
Show off your costume with a virtual Halloween costume contest or plan a Halloween movie night with the people you live with. The options are endless!
If you’re curious about local Halloween and fall-themed events where you can safely social distance, check out this list from Rocket City Mom.
For more information from the CDC about Halloween safety, click here.