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Health district offers tips for a safe Halloween

Traditional Halloween activities can be unsafe during a pandemic, and the Southern Nevada Health District is issuing tips to help plan for a safer and healthier Halloween.

Celebrations with members of the same household or holding virtual parties pose the lowest risk for spreading viruses. People who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or who live with someone who is at increased risk, should avoid in-person gatherings and consider participating in lower-risk events with people who live in the same household.

In addition to its Halloween guidelines, SNHD continues to recommend testing for everyone, including both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Testing is highly recommended for people with symptoms of COVID-19, anyone who has had contact with a confirmed case or possible case of COVID-19, has attended a public or private gathering of more than 10 people who were not wearing face coverings or maintaining social distancing or anyone planning to visit someone at high risk for COVID-19 illness.

SNHD is offering suggestions for safer alternatives to celebrate Halloween, such as organizing drive-up trick-or-treating where neighbors set up candy at curbside, planning a neighborhood costume parade with a predetermined route marked to maintain safe distances between participants, trick-or-treat in reverse by having neighbors walk or drive by and deliver candy to the front yard, throw a Zoom costume party, have a Netflix scary movie party where everyone starts the scary movie at the same time, create a Halloween piñata with just your family in the back yard or have a costume Halloween dinner with your family.

Trick-or-treating can put you at higher risk for spreading viruses. Those planning to participate in traditional trick-or-treating activities this year should follow some basic guidelines.

For trick-or-treaters, stay home if you are sick, go with people who live in the same house as you do, remain 6 feet apart from people who do not live with you and wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth.

A Halloween mask is not a substitute for a cloth face mask, and a costume mask should not be used over a cloth face mask because it can make it harder to breathe. Consider wearing a Halloween-themed face covering with your costume.

Also, trick-or-treaters should use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol frequently while out, especially during key times like before eating or after coughing or sneezing.

Homeowners should not hand out candy if they are sick and should wear a face mask covering the mouth and nose. Duct tape can be used to mark 6-foot lines in front of the home and leading from the driveway to the front door.

A distribution table between yourself and trick-or-treaters will help maintain distance, and everyone should distribute candy on a disinfected table to eliminate direct contact. And, of course, homeowners should wash their hands frequently.

Parents should stay home if they are sick and talk with their children about safety, social distancing guidelines and expectations. Children should be reminded to stay on the right side of the road to help ensure social distancing is maintained, parents should carry a flashlight at night and ensure their children have reflective clothing.

Parents should wear face masks that cover both the mouth and nose and wash their hands as soon as they return home, and, of course, should carefully inspect their children’s candy before anything is consumed.

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