Home Health Tips Boston OKs Halloween, offers tips for safe trick-or-treating to reduce spread of coronavirus – Boston Herald

Boston OKs Halloween, offers tips for safe trick-or-treating to reduce spread of coronavirus – Boston Herald

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Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Public Health Commission on Tuesday urged residents who choose to celebrate Halloween to take extra precautions to keep themselves and others safe from COVID-19.

Many traditional activities, such as trick-or-treating, costume parties or crowded, confined spaces like haunted houses, raise the risk of spreading viruses, according to health officials.

“Halloween is one of the best nights, and what’s most important this year is that any person participating in activities does so in a way that is safe for not only themselves, but also their neighbors and community,” said Mayor Walsh.

The Boston Public Health Commission offered these tips for safe trick-or-treating:

  • Trick-or-treat only with immediate family members.
  • Avoid direct contact with people passing out candy.
  • Wash your hands before handling treats. Wear a mask; a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
  • Stay at least six feet away from people who don’t live with you.
  • Bring hand sanitizer with you, and use it after touching objects or other people.

Health officials advised people who will be handing out treats to wash their hands before handling them and to set up a station outdoors with individually wrapped goodie bags for trick-or-treaters.

BPHC encourages families to find safer, alternative or virtual ways to have fun this season. The safest celebrations involve people from your own household, are outdoors and allow for social distancing, such as carving or decorating pumpkins, decorating your home or holding a virtual Halloween costume contest, a family Halloween movie night, a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt at home or a neighborhood scavenger hunt from a distance.

Halloween activities with risk include:

  • Traditional trick-or-treating
  • Trunk-or-treat events
  • Haunted houses
  • Hayrides or tractor rides
  • Fall festivals
  • Halloween parties or celebrations

People should limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by following these safety tips:

  • Wear a face covering. Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it could make it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Stay at least six feet apart.
  • Avoid large parties or gatherings.
  • Avoid crowded areas.
  • Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating candy.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • If any Halloween activities may lead to screaming, make sure everyone is wearing a face covering and staying more than six feet apart. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

If you may have COVID-19, are not feeling well or may have been exposed to someone with the virus, stay home and don’t participate in in-person Halloween festivities or give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

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