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Guidance for a Safe Halloween During the Pandemic

 

The Loudoun County Health Department recommends that residents do not engage in traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating activities this Halloween that risk transmission of COVID-19.

 

“We all have a role in making Halloween as safe as possible this year by taking precautions that limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “We encourage parents and anyone planning to participate in Halloween-related events to take actions to protect themselves, their children and others from the virus that causes this disease.” 

 

Halloween activities that are considered high-risk and are not recommended include: 

  • Traditional trick-or-treating where children go door-to-door.
  • Trick-or-treating at houses where individuals are not wearing a face covering and where 6 feet of physical distance is not maintained between individuals.
  • Trunk-or-treating where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
  • Events that involve large gatherings, such as crowded costume parties held indoors and any events where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
  • The Health Department considers haunted houses to be particularly risky for spreading COVID-19, because they typically involve people screaming, which is known to increase the production of respiratory droplets.

 

For those planning to participate in Halloween events, please use these precautions: 

  • Stay home and away from others when sick. 
  • Stay at least 6 feet from others at all times.
  • Wash your hands before and during trick-or-treating or handing out candy. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available.
  • Wear a cloth face covering. Halloween masks may not fit snugly against the face and may not cover the nose and mouth. Halloween masks with gaps and holes do not protect against inhaling respiratory droplets from other people. Wearing a cloth face covering under a Halloween mask may make it hard to breathe and is not recommended.
  • If you choose to offer candy, hand out candy outside and from a distance. Consider setting up a table and placing individually-wrapped treats so that multiple people do not have to reach into the same bowl. For trunk-or-treating, create distance between cars by parking in every other space. 

 

For more detailed information, including suggestions for low-risk Halloween activities for families, click here.

 

 

 

 

Published October 16, 2020