Health Officer: Halloween is a go, but practice COVID-19 safety protocols

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SPOKANE, Wash. — Halloween is a go this year, but the Spokane Regional Health District would like families to take extra safety precautions as a result of the pandemic.

During a media briefing on Wednesday, Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz outlined some of the steps parents and children can take to stay safe, and mentioned a list of low, medium and high risk activities families can enjoy during the holiday.

“We are going to have Halloween this year, but we may have to do things a bit differently,” Lutz said.

Many of the safety protocols Lutz recommended are the same that have been reiterated over and over since the start of the pandemic: wear a cloth face mask, maintain social distancing, do not go out if you have COVID-19 or have been exposed.

Trick or treating is considered a high risk activity by the Centers for Disease Control; so are crowded parties and indoor haunted houses. While the CDC recommends no trick-or-treating, Lutz acknowledged that people will still do it, but just asked that they do it as safely as possible.

Families that choose to trick or treat should do so in small groups and pack hand sanitizer to use in-between houses.

“Stay with family members, don’t collect people as you’re going down the street,” Lutz said.

Lutz also said people passing out candy can also take extra precautions, like tossing candy to trick or treaters, or putting a bowl outside to avoid close contact.

Lower risk activities that people can participate in include carving pumpkins at home or outside in small groups, decorating homes and putting on Halloween scavenger hunts for children.

“Enjoy yourselves on Halloween, again our focus will always be on that physical distancing, hand washing, face masks to stay healthy” Lutz said.

To find a list of the CDC’s recommendations on Halloween, click here. 

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