The Connecticut Department of Public Health issued Halloween guidance Thursday, urging against traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating this year.
The recommendations are in line with ones provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month.
“Traditional Halloween activities carry a high risk for spreading COVID-19, but we can reduce that risk significantly by organizing and participating in fun, lower or moderate risk alternatives,” the health department said in a posting on its website. “The holiday may look different this year, but the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) believes we can still enjoy a happy (and healthy) Halloween.”
Gov. Ned Lamont, at a news conference last month, had said he was not looking to cancel Halloween.
“It’s a time of the year when people automatically wear masks, they often wear gloves, so it seems like you’re 90% of the way towards a safe way to do Halloween just by definition.”
But the recommends from the CDC and the state DPH urge against trick-or-treating and other traditional Halloween activities like indoor haunted houses, trunk-or-treat events and even hayrides, if they are with people who are not part of your household.
“Traditional trick-or-treating is a high risk activity,” the posting reads. “Instead, the CDC and CT DPH recommends participating in one-way trick-or-treating where goodie bags or a large bowl of candy are placed outside of your home for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance.”
Those who choose to hand out candy at their doors are urged to wear masks before answering the door, remain 6 feet from trick-or-treaters and to place candy inside the child’s bag instead of having them reach into a bowl to grab it themselves.
All trick-or-treaters “should wear a mask or face covering while outside at all times,” the posting says, noting that “a costume mask … is not a substitute for a cloth or surgical mask.”
“costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and does not leave gaps around the face.”
Other events to consider, according to DPH include:
In lieu of in-person house parties, host virtual Halloween events, e.g. virtual costume contests.
Host drive-by Halloween events, e.g. neighborhood or town-based house decorating.
Prepare candy scavenger hunts at homes with your household members.
Have a Halloween movie night with the people in your household.
“Halloween isn’t cancelled,” Max Reiss, the governor’s chief spokesman, said in a Twitter post Thursday. “Read the guidance. Be safe. Limit interaction. Set up candy outside on a table with a bottle of hand sanitizer next to it. Have fun!”
For those who wish to
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