Celebrating Spooky Season Safely
For many, Halloween is celebrated throughout the month of October with trick-or-treating, costume parties, haunted houses, and more. This year, spooky season may take on a few changes due to the ongoing pandemic, but fear not! Just a few simple precautions can help you and your family have just as much fun, without your Halloween happenings becoming a real-life horror show, or worse … boring.
In addition to the annual safety tips shared by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the CDC has provided additional tips to help you celebrate the spooky season in this most unusual year.
Don't give yourself a scare. Keep gatherings small, and check your local stats
Residents should refrain from gatherings of more than 10 people. Face coverings are to be worn when the 6-foot social distancing guidelines are not possible. Stay updated with community spread information by visiting the Hillsborough County COVID Dashboard.
Keep the fright away by taking precautions when planning your outing
The CDC reminds those planning events to celebrate Halloween to take these extra considerations:
- Location - Indoor gatherings generally pose a higher risk than outdoors. Consider having your gathering outdoors or in a well-ventilated venue.
- Duration - Longer gatherings pose a higher risk than those that are shorter. Drive-by celebrations have soared in popularity in the past months and pose almost no risk to both parties.
- Number of Attendees - Gatherings with more people pose a higher risk than those with fewer people. The size of a gathering should be determined based on the ability to reduce contact between attendees, limit the risk of spread between attendees, and taking state and local regulations into consideration.
- Traveling Attendees - Gatherings with attendees traveling from different places post a higher risk than gatherings with those who live in the same community.
- Behaviors of Attendees - Gatherings with attendees who are not adhering to social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and other prevention behaviors pose a higher risk. Including these preventative measures at your event can help lower the risk of spreading the virus.
Keep danger away by considering the risk level
There always that one guy in the horror movie who ignores the obvious risks falls right into a trap. Don't be that guy. Traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses.
The CDC has created a detailed list of activities at various risk levels. Some examples of these are:
- Lower risk activities
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household
- Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Moderate risk activities-
- Having a small, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
- Attending a costume party outdoors where protective masks are worn and social distancing can be observed
- Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking fruit, mask-wearing is enforced, and people can maintain social distancing
- Higher risk activities-
- Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
- Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
- Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
If we come together as a community and take a few sensible precautions, Halloween can still be fun for everyone. For more information on COVID-19 coronavirus, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe. Share your spooky season snaps with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Happy Haunting!