How to celebrate Halloween safely

Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses.

Jackson County Public Health has several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween this year.

If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Health officials say it is best to engage in lower-risk activities and limit or avoid activities that carry a higher risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19.

During the fall celebrations, it remains critical that everyone wear a mask, maintain a physical distancing and limit close contact, wash your hands frequently, and get your flu vaccination.
Low-risk activities include:
• Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
• Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
• Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
• Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house, admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
• Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Moderate risk activities:
• Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to gran and go while continuing to social distance
• Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6ft apart
• Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used, and people remain more than 6 ft. apart (costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use in enforced, and people can remain more than 6 ft. apart
• Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins r picking applies, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain physical distancing
• Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with family and friends that are local and can maintain physical distancingHigh-risk activities include:
• Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
• Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
• Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
• Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19 • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
• Going to hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
• Using alcohol and trust, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors

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