Say 'Boo' to COVID-19: Celebrate Halloween safely
October 29, 2020
According to local health officials, Halloween doesn’t need to be cancelled during COVID-19, but there are some safety precautions everyone should know about and put in place.
“Halloween activities can be celebrated safely,” said Michele Bever, executive director for South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD). “We know what we need to do: avoid crowded places, avoid close contact, and avoid confined spaces,” she said. “Wear a protective mask (not a costume mask), wash your hands, and maintain at least six feet distance from people you don’t live with.”
‘If you are sick, stay home and don’t prepare or hand out treats,” she said. “Also, consider not participating in activities if you are an older adult or you have underlying health conditions.”
SHDHD shared these tips for safe Halloween activities:
Tips for Trick-or-Treating
Keep trick-or-treat groups to eight people or less.
Avoid clustering at doorsteps or anywhere else.
Remain six feet apart from people not in your group.
Protective masks (not costume masks) should be worn by anyone trick or treating.
Use hand sanitizer while out.
Wash your hands when you return home!
Wait to eat candy until home.
Focus on safety first. Only visit the neighbors that have safety measures in place!
Handing Out Treats
Wear a mask.
Wash your hands before touching treats.
Use hand sanitizer throughout the activity.
Put the treats in prepackaged bags.
Hand out treats. Don’t allow kids to reach into treat bowl.
Get creative with physical distancing... stay on porch and use a PVC chute.
Mark 6-foot lines in front of home leading to treat spot to prevent bunching of children.
Trunk or Treat
Consider a drive thru Trunk-or-Treat event.
Consider a timed, ticketed event.
Masks should be worn by anyone at the event.
Avoid large groups or clustering anywhere—keep groups to no larger than eight.
Don’t eat candy during the event.
Use hand sanitizer while trunking and wash your hands when you return home!
Organized Neighborhood Halloween Activities
Homeowners toss candy from six feet away as costumed children walk safely up and down sidewalks.
Neighbors set-up curbside with treats as parents drive up with their trick-or-treaters.
Trick-or-Treat in reverse, as children in costumes stand in front of their houses and treat bags are provided.
Neighborhood hosts a costume parade with a predetermined route marked to maintain safe distances between participants. Stay safe with sanitizing stations and six-feet sidewalk markings with stickers or tape.
Wear a mask.
Sanitize hands before and after touching pumpkins.
Skip the hayride with strangers.
Avoid screamers or keep your distance even more.
If it becomes too crowded, visit a different time.
Choose outdoor gatherings of eight people or less.
This is extra risky with screaming and being indoors. Wear a mask at all times!
Keep six feet distance---even when waiting in line.
This Halloween tips summary was created by Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and modified by SHDHD.
The new DHM, effective Oct. 21, for Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties, is on South Heartland’s website. If planning Halloween or other activities, check out the current requirements and guidelines for gatherings, and contact SHDHD for assistance in planning a safe event.