HCN News & Notes

State Public-health Officials Offer Tips for a Safe and Healthy Halloween

BOSTON — For residents planning to celebrate Halloween, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is providing safety tips to help limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19. DPH is also reminding residents and communities to be aware that Halloween activities are subject to the current state gathering-size limits as well as applicable sector-specific workplace-safety standards.

Consistent with the Halloween activity guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some recommendations include:

• Enjoy Halloween outside rather than attending indoor events.

• Place candy on a platter instead of a bowl.

• Instead of traditional trick-or-treating, opt for one-way trick-or-treating, with treats placed outside of the home for trick-or-treaters as a ‘grab and go’ while keeping distance from others.

• Consider leaving hand sanitizer by any treats left out for trick-or-treaters to use.

• Wear a face mask or face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face mask or face covering. To protect yourself and others, wear a protective face mask or covering instead of or in addition to a costume mask.

• Observe good hand hygiene, including hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy.

• Refrain from touching your face.

• Decorate your yard for others to enjoy from their car or while on a socially distanced walk.

• Hold virtual costume contests or pumpkin-carving events.

• Celebrate with members of your household with a Halloween-themed meal, Halloween movie night, or a Halloween scavenger hunt.

• Maintain social distancing of at least six feet from all other participants who are not members of the same household.

• Avoid crowded costume parties held indoors, or any gatherings that exceed indoor or outdoor gathering limits; indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming; and hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.

• Stay home and refrain from Halloween activities, including handing out Halloween treats, if you feel unwell, you have tested positive for COVID-19, you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19; or you have traveled to or from a state that is not classified as lower risk within the last 14 days.