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DOH recommends masks, vaccination for Halloween

HONOLULU — The Hawai‘i Department of Health is offering guidance to help families have a safe and fun Halloween.

“Celebrating Halloween is a special event for families, and it is possible to take steps to celebrate safely. Outdoor gatherings are safer, and consistent handwashing and mask-wearing are recommended,” said DOH Director Dr. Elizabeth Char. “All children 12 and older are eligible to be vaccinated and that is really the best way to keep our children safe during Halloween and the upcoming holidays.”

Ideas for safer, low-risk activities include hosting a scary movie watch party online, organizing a neighborhood pumpkin carving contest and carving the pumpkins with people in your household or hosting a virtual Halloween costume contest.

DOH recommends that Hawai‘i residents stay updated on county gathering guidelines and follow these recommendations:

• Incorporate a cloth or surgical mask into your costume that covers both your nose and your mouth. A costume mask is not a suitable substitute. Choose bright colors and flame-retardant materials. Add reflective tape to costumes or treat bags if families plan to be out after dark.

• Set up low contact, pre-packaged treats for trick-or-treaters.

• Outdoors is safer than indoors. Trick-or-treat in small groups outdoors or enjoy other outdoors activities. Avoid crowded indoor parties.

• Stay home if you are feeling sick, even if you are experiencing mild symptoms.

• Wash your hands before eating candy. Parents should examine treats before consumption.

• Get vaccinated: Adults and children age 12 and older should get a COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone six months and older should get a flu shot.

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Source: The Garden Island

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