This is a press release from the Trinity County Health and Human Services Public Health Branch:
With Halloween approaching and because some of the traditional ways to celebrate this holiday do not allow for proper social distancing. the Trinity County HHS Public Health Branch (TCPHB) is providing guidance to allow for safe Halloween celebrations.
A safe Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic may look and feel a little different this year as people decide how they will celebrate — whether it’s having fun from a distance, trick-or-treating. enjoying Halloween at home or something in between. TCPHB would like to share information on how to take part in this holiday in a manner that reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door, or having trunk-or-treat events where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up close together in large parking lots are higher risk Halloween activities for the spread of COVID-19. The following recommendations incorporate safety measures for trick-or-treating this year: Only trick or treat with people in your household. Even if you are outdoors, spending a prolonged period of time in close proximity to non- household members poses a risk of COVID transmission.
Include a face covering as part of your costume.
Stay at least 6 feet apart from other household groups. Neighborhoods may want to use arrows on sidewalks to create one-way flow on each side of street.
Do not ring doorbells or knock on doors. Instead, hosts should set up an outdoor area to distribute treats.
Treats should be pre-packaged into small bags/pouches or other easy-to-pick-up, single-serve container so that trick-or-treaters only have to touch a single item.
- Treats should be spread out on a table (as opposed to placed in a large bowl) to so that trick-or-treaters only have to touch a single item.
- Hosts should stand 6 feet away from the table to greet trick-or-treaters.
- Hand sanitizer should be used after touching any shared surfaces while trick or treating.
- Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water upon returning home from trick or treating.
- Hosts should wash their hands before portioning treats into single-serve containers.
- If possible, treats should be allowed to sit for 24-72 hours after returning from trick-or-treating before handling or consuming. If this delay is not possible. hands should be washed between handling wrappers and consuming treats; unwrap the treat and without touching it directly. Place it on clean surface. Then wash your hands before consuming the treat.
Alternatives to Trick-or-Treatinq
An alternative activity involves trick-or-treating in a large outdoor setting with adherence to social distancing. Tables are pre-set up with participants allowed to parade with a parent/guardian while maintaining at least 6-feet social distancing and wearing proper face coverings at all times. A limited number of people should staff the event, keeping tables replenished and monitoring social distancing. Proper handwashing should be performed before candy is consumed.
- Recruit a set number of table sponsors.
- Create a timed entry schedule to figure out what the attendance limit will be.
- Create a map of where tables will be with plenty of space between.
- Advertise with information about reserved time slots, social distancing. and mask wearing
- Package candies or favors in treat bags for easy distribution.
- Create signage to direct the flow of foot traffic.
- Draw markers on the ground to indicate 6 feet for social distancing.
Lower Risk Activities
These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
- Decorating your house, apartment. or living space
Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
- Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house
Higher Risk Activities
Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:
- Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
- Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
- Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
- Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
- Going on 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
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