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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

How to Have a Safe Halloween Despite COVID-19

The usual spooky festivities for Halloween may feel extra scary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Sacramento County Public Health​ has important guidance to help ensure safer trick-or-treating for everyone to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Follow the guidance below to have a fun and safe Halloween!

FACE COVERINGS
Firstly, you will need to wear a face-covering – so why not make it fun! Have your child select their own face covering, and then decorate it together to match their costume.

SOCIAL DISTANCING
When you are out trick-or-treating, travel only with your household members (don’t forget – wear your face covering), be sure to maintain 6 feet of social distance from others, and make interactions brief with others outside your household. 

HYGIENE 
Keep from transferring the virus with your hands. When you touch objects or your face, the virus may be lurking, so wash your hands often and have hand sanitizer handy.  Be sure to clean/disinfect high-touch surfaces. Also, have everyone wait to dig into the candy until hands are clean before unwrapping the candy, and then again before eating the candy. Do not share costume props or food. And, of course, if you feel sick or could be contagious, you must stay home and away from others.

BE READY FOR TRICK-OR-TREATERS

This year, you need to make it an outdoor festivity. In an outdoor area, such as a porch or driveway: 

  • Set up a table to stand behind and hand out candy using candy-grabber or tongs
  • Make treat bags and hang them from streamers outside for kids to grab
  • Place a bowl of candy and bottle of hand sanitizer at the end of the driveway/walkway
  • Always wear a face-covering around others, don’t touch your face, and practice good hand hygiene when handling candy. 

CELEBRATE A COVID-19 HALLOWEEN CREATIVELY
These ideas will help you and others be extra safe while still celebrating Halloween

  • Host a virtual Halloween “watch” party with online video/chat and have best costume or craft project contests; 
  • Have a Halloween movie night with household members either at home or drive-in; 
  • Do reverse trick-or-treat by dropping off small gift bags on your neighbor’s porch; 
  • Put on a trunk-or-treat (Halloween decorated car trunks) with socially distanced parked cars; 
  • Coordinate a contact-free neighborhood scavenger hunt; 
  • Organize a neighborhood car parade or socially distanced costume parade for best decorations/costume and give treat bags or toss candy (preferably with candy grabbers).

Read about all the usual Halloween precautions you will need to have in place 

LET’S GO OVER THE “NO-NO’s”

Don’t have trick-or-treaters walk up to your door to hand out candy.
To clarify, gatherings with individuals outside of your household are not allowed. The reason for this is because the virus is widespread in Sacramento County and you or those at the gathering may not know if someone is COVID-19 positive and contagious. Due to our high-risk level, Sacramento County has been placed in a restrictive Tier by the State. It is for your safety and of others that gatherings are prohibited. In early summer, the County had bent the COVID-19 case “curve,” but gatherings caused a spike in new COVID-19 cases and the ripple effect is still with us. We know social distancing works and if we adhere to the protocol, our COVID-19 cases will continue to go down.  If you do disregard the Order – at the very least, do it smarter – keep gatherings small, outdoors, wear face coverings and with only those in your “regular bubble.”

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT COVID-19 TESTING
Have you spent time with people outside of your household and you weren’t able to physically distance? You may have been exposed unknowingly to the COVID virus – you should get tested. The public is encouraged to get tested regularly. Sacramento County has 11 locations to get tested for COVID-19 for anyone living in the County (2 years old+). Testing is free, appointment times are easy to get, and results are provided in 1-3 days. Also, having the public get regular testing in our County gives the State more precise data so that the Case Rate isn’t adjusted higher when Tier levels are determined.

Get official details of the Sacramento County COVID-19 Halloween Guidance at SacCounty.net/COVID-19, and Happy Halloween!

John Toddhttps://www.riolindamessenger.com
Born and raised in Rio Linda, graduate of Rio Linda High School, and resident for most of the last 50 years. Committee Chair for the Rio Linda Elverta Visions Committee, announcer for the Rio Linda Little League Parade, Keeper of the Archway Lights, and outspoken advocate for the community.

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