St. Joseph County health officials give safety guidance for Halloween, trick or treating

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.—Health officials in St. Joseph County on Friday released safety guidance for Halloween and trick or treating amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials said that outside activities are best and to limit the size of gatherings.

Anyone who is positive for COVID-19 or who has been identified as a close contact should not participate in in-person trick or treating or other Halloween activities, the health department said.

Those who are not feeling well should also stay home and not participate in activities with other people, according to health officials.

Celebrating virtually or with members of your household poses the lowest risk for the spread of COVID-19, the health department said.

The health department shared the following safety tips for Halloween:

  • Trick-or-treat with only members of your own household
  • Wear a face covering that is not a costume mask. Face coverings should fit snuggly over the mouth and nose
  • Trick or treaters should avoid yelling or shouting “trick or treat” as yelling increases the spread of droplets
  • Individuals handing out candy should wear a face mask and wash or sanitize hands frequently
  • Trick or treaters should not grab candy out of a common bowl. Individual treats should be offered on a tray or table, without contact between the host or trick or treaters
  • Trunk or treat style events or neighborhood routes should have a one-way traffic flow and allow for physical distancing between trick or treaters

The health department also shared guidance for other fall activities, including:

  • Visits to pumpkin patches or orchards: Attend places that require face masks and encourage physical distancing
  • Hay rides: Avoid hay rides unless you are only participating with members of your household
  • Bobbing for apples is discouraged by the health department
  • Indoor gatherings with individuals not in your household are discouraged. Gatherings indoors are recommended to be limited to 10 people or less with face masks and physical distancing
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