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News Release
Public Health tips for a safe, healthy Halloween during COVID-19 pandemic - 10/16/20

Vancouver, Wash. – Many traditional Halloween celebrations could increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. But residents can help keep themselves, their loved ones and the community healthy by making small changes to how they celebrate.

COVID-19 activity is increasing in Clark County. The safest way to celebrate Halloween is at home with the people you live with. Do a scavenger hunt with treats hidden around the house or outside. Decorate your living space or patio. Dress up in costumes and watch scary movies. Or host a virtual costume contest with friends.

Some Halloween celebrations pose a higher risk for COVID-19 to spread. Attending crowded Halloween parties, trick-or-treating in large groups, or going on hayrides or tractor rides with people you don’t live with are riskier activities.

“Halloween may feel a little different this year, but with a little care and creativity, we can all celebrate the holiday safely,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director.

Trips to the pumpkin patch pose a higher risk for virus transmission than activities at home. If you plan to visit a pumpkin patch, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Wear a face covering.
  • Keep your distance. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with.
  • Use hand sanitizer after touching shared surfaces, such as handrails and wheelbarrows.
  • Avoid crowded activities that don’t allow for physical distancing.
  • If you’re feeling sick, stay home.

Large groups of trick-or-treaters going door to door can pose a high risk for virus transmission. If you plan to take children trick-or-treating this year, take these steps to make the experience safer:

  • Keep the group limited to members of your household.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people in other groups.
  • Incorporate a snug cloth face covering into your costume. Plastic costume masks are not suitable replacements.
  • Wash your hands before and after trick-or-treating. Bring hand sanitizer to use while trick-or-treating.
  • Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • If you’re feeling sick, stay home.

People who plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters can also take steps to make the visits safer:

  • Create grab bags of treats, rather than having kids dig through a communal bowl of treats.
  • Set treats on a table outside and greet visitors from a lawn chair at least 6 feet away. Or try a creative approach, like sliding candy down a long tube.
  • Use little pumpkins or other markers on the ground to help visitors stay at least 6 feet apart.

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