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Officials: Skip traditional trick-or-treating this Halloween

The state and county are urging families to avoid traditional trick-or-treating this Halloween to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s more important than ever to put safety first,” said state Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char. “Gatherings on Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day led to spikes in positive cases in Hawaii. This Halloween, be extra mindful as you navigate how to safely celebrate in order to keep the spread of coronavirus as low as possible during this holiday.”

Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating and participating in group activities such as walk-through haunted houses are considered high-risk activities because they can result in close contact and crowding among people outside your household.

“This year more than ever, it is important to celebrate Halloween safely and responsibly,” said Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim. “As COVID-19 is still active in our community, please know that the preventive policies of face coverings, distancing and gatherings (of 10 or fewer people) are mandated to help prevent the spread of the virus. Please accept this kuleana to make Hawaii Island safe.”

The state and county are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance and asking families and businesses to consider fun alternatives that pose a lower risk of spreading COVID-19.

Lower-risk activities the CDC recommends as safe alternatives are:

• Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them.

• Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends.

• Decorating your house, apartment or living space.

• Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.

• Having a virtual Halloween costume contest.

• Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with.

• Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home, rather than going house to house.

Char also has advice when it comes to selecting and preparing costumes.

“Carefully plan your costume,” she said. “Because Halloween masks have nose and mouth holes, they will not protect you or others from COVID-19. Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask or vice versa as it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth face mask.”
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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