Daily Camera (Boulder)

Health of­fi­cials share trick-or-treat tips to com­bat coro­n­avirus

- By Kieran Ni­chol­son Infectious Diseases · Halloween · Health Conditions · Celebrations

Hal­loween may be scarier this year than usual be­cause of pan­demic health con­cerns, ac­cord­ing to Den­ver health of­fi­cials.

Den­ver re­mains in a “safer-ath­ome” state in re­sponse to COVID-19 — a level 2 cat­e­gory that in­cludes cer­tain re­stric­tions to help stop the spread of the coro­n­avirus — ac­cord­ing to a Den­ver Pub­lic Health & En­vi­ron­ment news re­lease.

Trick-or-treat­ing should be done with fam­ily mem­bers and peo­ple you live with, the health depart­ment said. “Keep six feet apart from those not in your house­hold,” the re­lease said.

Time spent gath­er­ing candy should be short­ened, with fewer house­holds vis­ited com­pared to years past. Any­one feel­ing ill should stay home and avoid ac­tiv­i­ties and vis­i­tors. Bring hand san­i­tizer, along with a pumpkin bas­ket, and take breaks to ap­ply the san­i­tizer, the re­lease added.

A Hal­loween mask is not a sub­sti­tute for a pro­tec­tive face mask. Kids should wear a pro­tec­tive mask, un­der their cos­tume mask, and make sure it cov­ers nose and mouth.

“Kids two years and younger are not re­quired to wear a face cov­er­ing, but ev­ery­one three years and older must wear one un­less they can­not med­i­cally tol­er­ate it,” the news re­lease said.

House­holds greet­ing Hal­loween vis­i­tors should min­i­mize di­rect con­tacts with vis­i­tors.

Hosts should dis­in­fect door­bell but­tons and other high-touch sur­faces out­side the home, es­pe­cially at the evening’s end, the re­lease said. Hosts should dis­trib­ute the treats, and not have mul­ti­ple kids reach into a bowl to re­trieve treats.

Kids should wash their hands thor­oughly at the end of the night.

“Hal­loween 2020 will be un­like any other in re­cent his­tory. We’re deal­ing with a global pan­demic. And for most of us, it means un­cer­tain times,” said Robert Mcdon­ald, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of DDPHE, in the re­lease. “But if we are care­ful, if we main­tain proper so­cial dis­tanc­ing, if we wear our face cov­er­ings and use san­i­tizer, we can main­tain a lit­tle bit of our tra­di­tions and en­joy a fun evening with loved ones.”

Hal­loween par­ties should be kept to small numbers, with no more than 10 peo­ple. Wear pro­tec­tive masks, so­cial dis­tance and no buf­fets. Skip the karaoke, as “singing more eas­ily spreads the virus.”

Den­ver haunted houses — busi­nesses that frighten cus­tomers — must en­force so­cial dis­tanc­ing and reg­u­larly san­i­tize touch points and sur­faces. Vis­i­tors and staffers must wear pro­tec­tive masks and staffers will be tem­per­a­ture screened.

As Hal­loween creeps closer on the cal­en­dar, rev­el­ers are urged to check with the state’s COVID19 Dial Dash­board for the sta­tus, and lim­i­ta­tions, of their lo­cal com­mu­nity.

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