How to celebrate Halloween safely and limit the spread of COVID-19

SPOKANE, Wash. — Have you made your Halloween plans yet?

The Spokane Regional Health District is urging people to figure out a safe way to celebrate this weekend.

You may want to consider changing the way you trick-or-treat or do a different activity altogether.

SRHD warns there’s a history of spiking COVID cases when it comes to holiday weekends where people are known to gather.

Because of this, they’ve created a list of high. moderate and low risk Halloween activities.

HIGH RISK

  • Traditional, door-to-door trick-or-treating
  • Trunk-or-treat with lack of social distancing
  • Indoor costume parties, haunted houses with multiple people

MODERATE RISK

  • One-way trick-or-treating
  • Costume parade, outside with a socially-distanced small group
  • Pumpkin patch with COVID-19 guidelines in place

LOW RISK

  • Virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Socially-distanced pumpkin carving or decorating
  • Halloween scavenger hunt

Of course, all of these are just suggestions, but each activity has characteristics in common.

High risk activities are high risk because they involve gathering and person-to-person interaction. Low risk activities keep people separated.

COVID can spread when trick-or treaters clump together when walking up to a home and indoor festivities commonly have no air circulation and people don’t wear masks.

If you plan to trick-or-treat with your family or you’ll be a homeowner passing out candy, you might want to make some changes.

“I really encourage you to find a way where the kids don’t have to come to your door and gather,” said Spokane Regional Health District Communications Manager Kelli Hawkins. “Where maybe you have treats hidden around in your yard or you have a table distanced at the end of the driveway with the treats spread out instead of all in a communal bucket.”

Moderate risk Halloween activities are only moderate because it could be a small group gathering, but no one is masking up.

Just like with everyday life, Spokane Regional Health District says the only way to truly prevent COVID-spread is to stay six feet apart and wear masks.

https://twitter.com/spokanehealth/status/1319670933360156673?s=20

You don’t need to go as far as sanitizing your candy, but do incorporate a mask with your costume and wash your hands when you can.

“Be aware of what you’re touching and after trick-or-treating, definitely wash your hands and before going trick-or-treating,” said Hawkins. “And as the homeowner, wash your hands before putting the candy into the dish or setting it outside.”

Bottom line– activities that incorporate social distancing, wearing a mask and fewer people in a group are going to keep you and others the safest.

To see the Spokane Regional Health District’s guidance for kids and adults celebrating Halloween, see the official blog post.

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

RELATED: Local COVID-safe Halloween events your whole family can enjoy