Stay Safe and Healthy this Halloween
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends
alternatives to help you enjoy the holiday
September 29, 2020
The CDC has shared its list of Halloween activities for families to enjoy while staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Activities fall under categories of low-, moderate-, and high-risk. Trick-or-treating is included in the high-risk category, but the CDC suggests an alternative way to go house-to-house that reduces it to a moderate-risk activity: one-way trick-or-treating.
The following low-risk activities are recommended by the CDC:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
Moderate-risk activities include:
- Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
- Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
- Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
- Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
High-risk activities that should be avoided include:
- 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
The complete list of low-, moderate-, and high-risk activities may be found online at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween
In York County, those who choose to trick-or-treat are asked to do so from 6-8 p.m. Recommended ages are 12 and under.
York County Fire Chief Stephen P. Kopczynski and York-Poquoson Sheriff J.D. “Danny” Diggs offer these additional safety measures for individuals participating in trick-or-treat:
- Incorporate a cloth facemask into costumes and consider wearing protective gloves to finish the look. A Halloween mask is not a suitable alternative to a cloth facemask.
- Carry hand sanitizer with you and use often
- Do not allow children to take candy directly from neighbors and stay six feet away from others not in your family group.
- Residents are asked to turn on porch lights to identify homes that wish to receive trick-or-treaters. Please avoid houses where porch lights are off.
- Remind children to be careful, watch for traffic, and to use flashlights.
- Make sure costumes and shoes fit properly to avoid tripping hazards.
- Purchase Halloween costumes (including wigs, capes and props) that feature a “flame-resistant” or “flame-retardant” label.
- Consider wearing bright and/or light-colored costumes, which are easier to see at night.
- Carry a flashlight or light-stick, and attach “glow-in-the-dark” items or reflective tape to the front and back of children’s costumes. Make sure your trick-or-treater can see and be seen.
- Have an adult accompany younger children.
For more on Halloween Safety, call Fire & Life Safety at (757) 890-3600 or the Sheriff’s Office at (757) 890-3630.