Halloween Safety during COVID-19 Pandemic

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The Kentucky Department of Public Health has released guidance on how to celebrate Halloween safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be very important to use caution and plan ahead for Halloween activities. Always follow current state public health executive orders and any rules/regulations that have been established by your local community before making decisions about Halloween activities. Some communities may decide to cancel Halloween events.
Make sure to check local sources before making plans. Please visit http://www.kycovid19.ky.gov for guidance, incidence rate maps and other information. CDC guidance for holiday celebrations, including Halloween, can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/…/daily-life-coping/holidays.html….
This guidance is designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. It will be reassessed and may be updated as the situation evolves and we learn more in the weeks leading up to Halloween.
Please help keep Halloween fun and safe for our children by focusing on them and avoid participating in adult activities that further increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Recommended Activities: Trick-or-Treat the Safe Way
• If trick-or-treating is permitted in your community, please trick-or-treat the safe way.
o Place individually wrapped candy outside on the porch, driveway, or table.
o Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet from anyone not within your household.
o Always wear a face covering. Halloween masks DO NOT count as a face covering.
o Clean hands before and after touching the wrapped candy.
o Trick-or-treat in family groups and don’t congregate in large groups.
o Trick-or-treat in your own neighborhood and do not travel to other neighborhoods.
• Use hand sanitizer often, especially after contacting frequently-touched surfaces and before eating anything.
As you decide what Halloween activities to participate in, consider the COVID-19 risk.
Additional lower-risk activities
These lower-risk activities can be safe alternatives:
• Carve or decorate pumpkins with members of your household and display them.
• Decorate your house, apartment, or living space.
• Have a virtual Halloween costume contest.
• Have a scavenger hunt for Halloween treats with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.
• Watch Halloween movies with people you live with.
• Hold drive-by costume or car decorating contests with judges who are social distancing.
Moderate-risk activities
• Have an outdoor, socially distanced parade where people are social distanced > 6 feet apart.
• Visit a pumpkin patch or orchard where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples. Masks and social distancing should be followed at these activities.
• Have an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family and friends. This event should include social distancing and gatherings should be limited to 10 or fewer people.*
Avoid Higher-risk activities
Avoid these higher-risk activities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
• Traditional trick-or-treat where treats are handed to children that go door-to-door.
• Trunk-or-treat events where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
• Costume parties.
• Haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming.
• Hayrides or tractor rides.
• Fall festivals outside your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.
• Any event with large crowds.
Parents and Guardians
• Wipe candy wrappers with sanitizing wipes. (NOTE: Never wipe unwrapped food with wipes.)
• Allow children to eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid homemade treats from individuals you do not know.
• If your child is at greater risk of complications from COVID-19, use extra caution and avoid moderate and high-risk activities.
• Stay home if you are sick.
• Consider people in your household who may be at risk for greater complications if COVID-19 is brought into the home, such as those with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, or older family members before participating in any holiday activity.
Community Members
• Reach out to neighbors to discuss ways to ensure social distancing, safe distribution of candy, and the need for face coverings.
*Pursuant to Executive Order, gatherings must be limited to 10 people or fewer:
• Do not allow children to select their own treats from a common bowl or container. Place treats, spaced apart, on porch steps, a table or the driveway with a sign asking children to take only one. Consider other creative ways of getting the candy to the children, such as a candy slide made of PVC pipe or hanging treats from a wall or fence.

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