How to safely Trick or Treat with COVID-19

Since we are still in a COVID-19 pandemic, HIRSC Team received numerous messages about how to safely Trick or Treat this year.

Safe Trick or Treat Graphic (PC: CDC)

Published by: HIRSC - Administration and Moderating Team

info@hiradioscannercommunity.com


As a tradition on Halloween, many families with children would go around the many neighborhoods around Hawaii Island and visit many homes and pick up their treats while also seeing friends and other family members along the way. While in many ways, they were fun and enjoyable in the past, however, this year comes with an added risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. Here are some tips for staying safe while also celebrating Halloween tradition.


HIRSC Team has done a lot of research and sent out inquiries to many health agencies and received the following tips and steps to stay safe during this Halloween.


Also, provide everyone with some creative tips during this year's Halloween festivities.

From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention:


Halloween

Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.


Lower risk activities These lower-risk activities can be safe alternatives:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends

  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space

  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance

  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest

  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with

  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house


Moderate risk activities

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)

  • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.

  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart

  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

  • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.

  • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

  • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing

  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart

  • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

  • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.


Higher risk activities Avoid these higher-risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door

  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots

  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors

  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming

  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household

  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors

  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19


Make trick-or-treating safer

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.

  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.

  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.

  • Wash hands before handling treats.

  • Wear a mask.



Wear a mask

  • Make your cloth mask part of your costume.

  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.

  • Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.

  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing

Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you

  • Indoors and outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a long time.

Wash your hands

  • Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people.

  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • Parents: supervise young children using hand sanitizer.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.




Steps to Take for Other Halloween Activities Enjoy Halloween activities and take steps to protect yourself from getting or spreading COVID-19. Remember to always

  • Wear a cloth mask

  • Indoors and outdoors, stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently

Decorate and carve pumpkins

  • Decorate your home for Halloween.

  • Carve pumpkins with members of your household or outside with neighbors or friends.

  • Walk from house to house, admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.

Visit an orchard, forest, or corn maze. Attend a scavenger hunt.

  • Go on an outdoor Halloween-themed scavenger hunt.

  • Visit a pumpkin patch or orchard. 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.



Other Ideas

  • Hide Halloween treats in and around your house. Hold a Halloween treat hunt with household members.

  • Hold an outdoor costume parade or contest so everyone can show off their costumes.

  • Host an outdoor Halloween movie night with friends or neighbors or an indoor movie night with your household members.

Trick or Treat Ideas


This year's festivities, many individuals are coming up with very creative ideas for trick or treat this year, here are a handful of ideas that some including our HIRSC Administrator is thinking about rolling out this Halloween.


Trick or Treat Pre-Pack Bags

To avoid unnecessary handling of candy while Trick or Treaters are out and about, many will pre-pack bags with candies or treats and have trick or treaters pick up from a table set up preventing interactions with other individuals including the trick or treaters.


Treat Slide

Other Creative Ideas



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