Halloween and COVID-19: A Safety Guide

Halloween is a favorite fall holiday in the United States and around the world. This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic poses a few challenges for fans of this holiday. How can you have fun and stay safe this Halloween?

Halloween is the time of year when many fall lovers drink pumpkin spice latte, watch their favorite horror movies, and make treats.

Every year, people in the United States and around the world hold costume parties to celebrate this holiday, taking the opportunity to have a great time with their friends and family.

This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has made celebrating Halloween more complicated, as social gatherings can facilitate the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease.

Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.

Despite this, some data suggests that many people in the United States have not let the pandemic deter them from their annual Halloween preparations.

According to a September projection by Statista, planned national spending on Halloween costumes stands at $ 2.6 billion. Estimates also show an additional $ 2.6 billion for Halloween decorations and $ 2.4 billion for candy.

So how can people stay safe while enjoying this favorite fall vacation? In this special article, we take a look at some of the best practices and offer tips for health, safety, and fun.

We based our suggestions on guidelines Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Highlights of the article:

Halloween parties and costume parties are perhaps the most popular Halloween activities, but they usually involve close contact with many people from different households. This can facilitate the transmission of the new coronavirus.

For example, if a person who has contracted SARS-CoV without knowing it and has no symptoms engages in regular social activities, they could put others at risk.

The best way to stay safe this Halloween is to avoid contact with people from other households, which can mean avoiding treats and parties with people you don’t share a living space with.

However, the CDC is suggesting ways for people who want to make the most of this fall party to mitigate risks.

If children go for the treat or trick, they should avoid coming into direct contact with other treats or deceptive or with adults who offer them treats.

They should also try to stay at least 6 feet from other children and adults who do not live with them and wear a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol to use frequently.

Adults may want to supervise children while they use hand sanitizer and frequently use it themselves.

Adults who offer candy to fond or deceitful youth should ensure that they do not come into direct contact with them. Ideally, wrap the treats in individual bags and place them outside on a specially assigned “treat station”.

Always wash your hands before and after handling treats or treat bags intended for children in other households.

Children should also wash their hands thoroughly before eating any candy they received during the treat.

Here is our detailed guide on the best technique for washing your hands.

One of the most important aspects of Halloween is, of course, wearing costumes.

Adults and children should strive to incorporate a face covering – covering the nose and mouth – into their outfit during any treat or deception activity or any other activity where they might encounter people who do not. not part of their household.

Healthline Chief Medical Officer Dr Hanh Le advises that: “For this Halloween, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, costumes that have a mask that covers the mouth and nose are probably the safest, and disposable or washable suits will most likely reduce your risk of contamination in the future.

However, the CDC warns that an “ordinary costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.”

They also advise against wearing a cloth face cover under a costume mask, as this could “make it harder to breathe.”

Read our guidelines on how to make a suitable fabric mask for wearing in public places.

The safest way to celebrate Halloween is with people in your own household.

Carving pumpkins, wearing fun costumes, and participating in traditional Halloween games can be just as fun in smaller, more intimate circles as it is in larger social gatherings.

However, for those who choose to celebrate with people outside their homes, the CDC offers the following tips to stay safe and minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.

One way to minimize transmission during a social gathering, according to the CDC and medical experts, is to keep it in an outdoor space.

Our medical consultant, Dr Hanh Le, explains why:

“When organizing Halloween parties, it is advisable to plan them outside if possible because [spacing] people in an open outdoor setting is the best way to prevent person-to-person transmission. Gather a lot of people in small, confined spaces, especially if it’s noisy and people [need] bending over to get along – is a recipe for disaster for the widespread transmission of COVID-19 among all your guests. “

Be sure to ventilate all interior spaces used at a holiday gathering.

Hosts who want to host a meeting should limit the number of guests and make sure everyone knows and is ready to follow along safety instructions in force.

Some hosts may choose to provide disposable masks, hand sanitizer, and tissues for their guests if they cannot bring their own.

The CDC also suggests that people organizing social gatherings “consider asking all guests to strictly avoid contact with people outside their homes for 14 days prior to the gathering.”

Place tables and chairs allow physical distancing between guests from different households. When it comes to cutlery, plates, and cups, using disposable cutlery may be the safest option.

Providing individual sachets or jars of sauce, condiments, and dressings is also safer than circulating a container that everyone will handle.

Some Hosts may suggest that guests bring their own food and drink to avoid sharing with others. When this is not possible, limit contact with shared objects or surfaces.

If people from different households cannot stand at least 6 feet from each other, they should wear face coverings.

Hosts and guests should remember to wash their hands thoroughly before handling shared items or serving or eating food.

Last but not least, if you are feeling unwell or think you have been exposed to a virus, please avoid all social gatherings to ensure the safety of your friends and family.

For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.

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Susan W. Lloyd

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