Blog
Oct 29
Blog: Halloween and COVID-19

Despite how slowly the time seemed to go, 2020 is rapidly coming to an end. For many of us, the month of October marks the beginning of a busy season—only this year, it is a season colored by vibrant leaves and lots of COVID-related questions.

The most pressing one, at least for the young and the young at heart, is “What are we going to do about Halloween?”  

“Family-centered activities in your own social bubble are the safest,” says Michael Holland, MD, director of Saratoga Hospital Medical Group—Occupational Medicine. “Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, costume parties, and haunted houses have a higher risk associated with them.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has some suggestions to keep your family safe while enjoying this spooky season:

  • Grab-and-go trick-or-treating. Prepare individual goodie bags for the children in your neighborhood, and line them up at the end of the driveway, or the edge of your yard. This modified trick-or-treating allows for a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone—but remember to properly wash your hands before putting the goodie bags together!
  • If you host an annual costume party, keep it small and keep it outside. Know the infection rates in your area, and plan accordingly. Let your guests know that if there’s a spike, you will be cancelling in the interest of safety. Try to stay within your social bubble, and invite family and friends you see regularly. Ask everyone to bring a mask, and keep extras on-hand just in case.
  • But remember, a Halloween mask is no substitute for a cloth mask. A proper face covering should be made of two or more layers of breathable fabric, and covers the mouth and nose without gaps. Please do not wear the costume mask over a protective cloth mask, as you may experience difficulty breathing. Consider purchasing a Halloween-themed cloth mask that matches your costume, for your safety and the safety of those around you.
  • Social distancing matters, even with masks. Any costume parties or haunted houses should follow appropriate social distancing guidelines—and masks should not be optional. If there’s going to be any screaming, make sure guests are separated by more than six feet. Remember that the greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus. 


“We have traveled for so long down this arduous road,” says Dr. Holland, “but we cannot afford to get complacent. It is up to all of us to be responsible, to modify our important holiday traditions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, and I know we can count on this community to celebrate safely.”

For the latest information on COVID-19 and Saratoga Hospital, please visit https://www.saratogahospital.org/covid19
 


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