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Greene County Health Department reiterates guidance for a safe Halloween

From the Greene County Health Department:

As we approach the holiday seasons, the CDC has issued guidance for low to high risk activities.  Visit their webpage at  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html for more information. 

Locally, the Greene County Health Department would like to reiterate:

  1. If you have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in any in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick -or-treaters.
  2. Consider the risk that comes with the activities you want to participate in.

What the community should know about masks?

  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask
  • A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and does not leave gaps around the face; alternatively, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask

What the community should know about screaming?

  • If you are attending haunted houses or any other activities that screaming will likely occur, greater distancing than 6-feet is advised.  The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

Low-risk activities

  • Carving our decorating pumpkins with members of your household or outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your home
  • 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 scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with you household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Moderate-risk activities

  • 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.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking applies, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6-feet apart

Higher-risk activities

  • Participating in tradition 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

The Greene County Health Department will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our community and strongly recommend that no one participate in high-risk activities.  If an outbreak and/or surge is surveilled prior to Halloween, more restrictive measures limiting holiday activities may be mandated.  Please take measure to ensure a safe Halloween.

Be well and stay safe!

Featured photo by Pixabay from Pexels

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