For Immediate Release
How to celebrate Halloween safely this year
RICHMOND, KY (October 27, 2020) — Halloween will look a bit different this year with safety guidelines in place due to COVID-19. But you can still have a spooktacular time by remembering some important safety tips.
Not every mask offers protection from COVID-19 and a traditional Halloween costume is not a substitute for a cloth mask, said Muhammad Iqbal, MD, pulmonologist with Baptist Health Medical Group.
“COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that’s spread through the air,” said Dr. Iqbal. “By wearing the right mask and staying socially distanced, you help reduce the transmission of the virus.”
If you do venture out for Halloween, Iqbal suggests carrying along hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to use after touching objects or other people. “There’s always the possibility of touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes and spreading the disease,” he said. “That’s why washing and sanitizing your hands is essential to protecting yourself and your family.”
Many communities will still have trick-or-treat on Halloween this year, but will follow public health guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends avoiding high-risk activities such as traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating and any event with crowds, such as large Halloween gatherings. That means that traditional events such as costume parties, haunted houses, and hayrides are discouraged.
If you want to spend time with friends, moving the socializing outside to open spaces is definitely safer than standing in a confined area, like a house or a bar, said Dr. Iqbal.
“Your risk of catching the virus is much lower outdoors where you have better air flow. But you still have to be aware of how you’re interacting with others. Maintain a safe distance and continue to wear your mask, don’t share food or utensils,” said Dr. Iqbal. “You can still celebrate Halloween with costumes and decorations, just do it in a safe and responsible way.”
The CDC offers these safety tips for trick-or-treating:
- Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
- Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
- Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
- Wash hands before handling treats.
- Wear a mask and stay at home if you are sick.
For more Halloween COVID-19 safety guidance, go to Govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19.