Douglas County Public Health Department Offers COVID-Trick-Or-Treating Tips
2020 has been a different kind of year to say the least. As we roll seven months into various forms of shut-downs and 'stay-at-home' orders, we're about to approach the annual rite of passage for kids on Halloween: trick-or-treating. And while there's been a lot of debate about whether or not kids should be permitted to trick-or-treat - and - if they do, what will that look like.
In advance of the Halloween holiday, officials with the Douglas County Public Health department have released a list of tips for parents and kids on how to trick-or-treat safely in a pandemic. While large Halloween gatherings are still being discouraged by the health organization, they have shared on social media that they are "supportive of trick-or-treating with good community education around safe practices".
So what are those "safe practices" for Halloween trick-or-treating that the county is recommending? Here's a list for starters:
- If you're sick, stay home; don't trick-or-treat. At the same time, if you're sick, don't hand out candy from your door.
- To keep gatherings small and socially-distanced, consider trick-or-treating with family - the people you live with.
- Practice good social distancing when out and about trick-or-treating. While you can gather in small groups as a family, make sure you're keeping 6-feet (or more) of distance from people who are not in your group.
- Wear a face mask. This recommendation is for everyone - kids (age 2 and older) and adults alike. Make sure that that face mask covers both your mouth and your nose and that you're wearing it properly. You can make a cloth mask to tie-in with your costume or outfit, but resist wearing a costume mask over a cloth mask; this can make breathing difficult. The idea behind the masks is to keep you and other safe.
- Consider setting up socially-distanced, outside trick-or-treat tables. i.e. - find ways to alleviate strangers from having to come up to or inside of your home. Another idea to consider: making individual treat bags and leaving them outside on your door step. Avoid having kids reach into a bowl to get their own treats.
- Keep hand sanitizer nearby - for yourself and others. Use it often. Wash your hands before and after preparing and/or handing out treats.
- "Avoid face-to-face interaction with high risk groups".
The full list of COVID trick-or-treat safety tips can be found by clicking here. The social media post on Douglas County's site also includes standard trick-or-treating tips - the kind that are good practices all pandemics aside.