With autumn well underway, the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Northeast Health District, which serves 10 counties, including Barrow, is providing guidance for reducing the risk of COVID-19 during fall festivities, including Halloween events.
Some lower-risk activities include carving or decorating pumpkins outside at a safe distance, hosting virtual costume contests, decorating your home and yard, virtual movie nights and drive-through or drive-by events.
Outdoor events that allow you to keep distance between yourself and people that you do not live with such as visiting an orchard or corn maze or attending a scavenger hunt are also lower-risk.
Some tips for making trick-or-treating safer include:
• Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
• Give treats outdoors.
• Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
• Wash hands before handling treats.
• A regular costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask, so think of creative ways to make your cloth mask part of your costume instead.
• Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
• Masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing.
• Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.
If you have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not host or participate in any in-person activities until after the time period for your isolation or quarantine ends. If you are not sure about how long you should be staying away from others after a COVID-19 infection or exposure, you should call your health care provider. You may also call the Northeast Health Department’s testing hotline at 706-340-0996.
For more information about preventing the spread of COVID-19 during holiday gatherings, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.
For accurate and reliable information on COVID-19, go to dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.