jack-o-lantern

OLYMPIA – Halloween will look and feel a little bit different this year because of COVID-19, so it will be important to identify safer alternative activities to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, said the state Department of Health.

Some tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

-Wear a cloth face covering any time you are with people not from your household, whether indoors or outside.

-Avoid confined spaces. Outdoor activities are safer than indoor ones, but if you’re indoors, make sure to have proper ventilation, and even open doors and windows to the extent possible.

-Avoid close contact with people outside of your household. Stay at least six feet away from non-household members.

-Wash or sanitize your hands (and the hands of little ones) often.

-Stay home if you are sick or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. And if you have symptoms or you’ve been a close contact of someone with COVID-19, get a COVID-19 test.

“Many children and families in Washington are wanting to know what happens on Halloween this year, said Lacy Fehrenbach, deputy secretary of health for COVID-19. “This holiday, along with most of our holidays, will look and feel a bit different. The good news is that with some changes, we can find meaningful and fun ways to celebrate while still working to reduce COVID-19 transmission in our state.”

According to the department, some fun, creative and safer options for celebrating Halloween include:

-Having a scavenger hunt at home. Dress up and hide candy or other treats throughout the house or yard.

-Having a Halloween movie marathon with household members.

-Hosting an online costume or pumpkin carving contest.

If you go trick-or-treating:

-Stick with members of your household and keep at least six feet of distance from others.

-Wear a cloth mask. A plastic costume mask is not a suitable substitute.

-Wash your hands before and after trick-or-treating.

-Bring plenty of hand sanitizer.

If you give out treats:

-Limit candy to individually wrapped treat bags. This reduces the number of people who would typically touch items in a communal bowl.

-If possible, place treats on a table in your driveway or yard to avoid crowds at your front door. To see trick-or-treaters, sit in a chair in your driveway, garage, yard or porch and maintain at least six feet of distance from the treat table.

-Place a few mini pumpkins or other decorations six feet apart to signal a line and keep trick-or-treaters distanced while waiting for treats.

-Avoid gatherings, events, or parties with people outside of your household that violate the gathering limitations outlined in the state’s Safe Start Plan.

More information is on the department COVID-19 + Halloween tips website.

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