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Health officials offer tips and tricks for Halloween during a pandemic

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POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Halloween traditions may look different this year to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

However, local health officials say there are still plenty of ways families can have fun while avoiding the scare of being exposed to or spreading the virus.

“Any way you look at it, Halloween will feel a little different this year,” Southeastern Idaho Public Health’s Director Maggie Mann said. “From a public health viewpoint, adopting safer ways to celebrate is more likely to ensure that Oct. 31 is still festive and fun, but not a day of superspreading events.”

SIPH said Halloween celebrations should begin with the fundamental precautions we should all be taking with any activity during this
pandemic, and it’s more important than ever before that you keep doing what you have been doing: staying home if you are sick, avoiding large gatherings, keeping your distance of six feet from others, wearing a cloth face covering, and washing your hands often.

“Traditional Halloween activities are fun, but some can increase the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19,” Mann said. “You can make the most of it by planning some safe and alternate ways to participate in Halloween-fun activities for your family.”

SIPH says you should:

  • Make trick-or-treating safer by avoiding contact with trick-or-treaters by staying at least six feet away from others who do not live with you.
  • If you are handing out treats, give out treats outdoors, if possible. Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take. Wash your hands before handling treats and wear a mask.
  • When trick-or-treating it is important to wear a mask. Make your cloth mask part of your costume. However, a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask and do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask it can make breathing more difficult.

The health district also suggests these Halloween activities and steps to protect yourself from getting or spreading COVID-19:

  • Lower-risk activities could include decorating and carving pumpkins with members of your household or outside with neighbors or friends.
  • You can hold a Halloween treat hunt with household members in and around your house.
  • Hold an outdoor costume parade or contest so everyone can show off their costumes where people are socially distanced.
  • You can also host a socially distanced outdoor Halloween movie night with friends or neighbors or an indoor movie night with your household members.
  • Visit a pumpkin patch or orchard where mask-wearing is encouraged and people are able to maintain six-feet of social distancing. Remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching frequently touched surfaces, pumpkins or apples.
  • Go to a one-way, walk-through haunted forest or corn maze.

For more information from health officials about holidays and celebrations click HERE.

SIPH has a call center to field questions from the community and is open Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can reach the hotline at (208) 234-5875.

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Linda Larsen

Linda Larsen

Linda is an anchor and reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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