Avoid haunted houses: Metro Health releases guidelines for a safe Halloween in San Antonio

San Antonio residents lost Fiesta this year. But Halloween can proceed, with proper precautions, city officials said Wednesday.

Metro Health released guidelines for celebrating the holiday on Saturday, Oct. 31. The agency recommends wearing masks, practicing social distancing and avoiding haunted houses.

“If we continue working together to stop the spread of COVID-19, our community will be able to safely enjoy Halloween and other holidays later this year, said Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a statement.

“Make the right decisions now to do what’s best for your health and the health of others. Our frontline workers, teachers, students, and most vulnerable residents are counting on you.”

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For trick-or-treating, Metro Health advises to stay home if you’re sick. People going out should wear face coverings — and Halloween masks don’t offer enough protection. Avoid going inside other homes.

Limit your group to those in your household and stay 6 feet away from other groups, the agency said. Use hand sanitizer frequently, only eat pre-packaged treats, and wash your hands with soap and water when you return home.

For those handing out candy, Metro Health recommends leaving individually wrapped goodie bags or candy on a disinfected table at the end of your driveway or yard so that trick-or-treaters don’t have to come to your door. Disinfect the table every so often.

The agency advises not to hand out candy if you or someone in your household is sick.

Metro Health also issued Halloween guidance for adults. Again, not going out if you are feeling sick topped the list. Officials advised limiting gatherings with people outside your household and planning an outdoor rather than indoor gathering if you are having a party.

Avoid crowded indoor parties, especially haunted houses or hay rides where people may be screaming, Metro Health said. Stay away from the shared punch bowl and buffet-style food. Wear a mask. Not just the Scream mask.

“By continuing these efforts and changing the way we celebrate holidays in the coming months, we will be able to see our families and continue to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Colleen Bridger, Interim Metro Health Director.

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