Local health experts’ advice on celebrating Halloween amid COVID-19
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled many typical Halloween activities as being high risk. Now, as Halloween approaches trick-or-treating in the age of COVID-19 will be different.
“Halloween this year is very different than Halloween the last few years, or Halloween ever I should say, because of the COVID pandemic,” said local pediatrician Dr. Rubina Azam.
However, she said families should still enjoy Halloween- just do so safely. “There’s no reason to stop life or to stop enjoying, as long as we’re taking safety precautions and we’re doing social distancing, we can absolutely celebrate Halloween.”
But social distancing can be difficult with ghouls and goblins trick-or-treating in large packs. “I would highly recommend to children to stay with your family when they go out trick-or-treating instead of making groups of ten or fifteen- it’s going to be impossible for them to maintain the social distancing when you’re with other kids. But when you’re with family you don’t have to maintain the social distancing,” said Dr. Azam.
Another tip- avoid direct contact when handing out candy.
“If they can do so, put it in a goodie bag. Make sure they wash their hands before they do that, and leave them out for the kids and families to come and pick up on their own,” said public information officer for the Department of Health in Bay County, Heather Kretzer.
She also said don’t forget the typical rules when out on Halloween, like wearing bright, reflective costumes. “Also want to make sure that those are flame resistant. You know, there’s a lot of people that have out their candles for their pumpkins and different things like that,” said Kretzer.
Whether you’re thinking about trick-or-treating or handing out candy, Dr. Azam reminds everyone to stay home if you’re feeling sick. “We can still enjoy the Halloween, we can still do trick-or-treating, we just have to take some safety precautions,” she said.
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