Trick or Treat: Ohio shares COVID-19 safety tips for Halloween

·2 min read

Oct. 15—Make sure your Halloween is filled with treats by following health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff offered trick-or-treat safety tips during a press conference Thursday.

While vaccination is still the best tool, many of the children who trick-or-treat are not yet eligible to get vaccinated.

"We still have tools available to us to keep them safe and limit the risk of the spread of this virus," he said.

Masking and physical distance are two factors parents and guardians should keep in mind.

"Halloween by it's very nature offers us some terrific opportunities to incorporate masks and face coverings into our costume in a creative way," Vanderhoff said. "Masking has been a part of trick-or-treating for a long time, just this time we're asking for a different kind of mask."

Trick-or-treaters should also stay in small groups of people who they're normally with to decrease the risk or catching or spreading COVID.

"Children should avoid gathering in a big group, tight in at a doorstep when getting candy," Vanderhoff added. "Remember, stay in a smaller group and keep some distance between those groups. Make grabbing the treats a brief encounter to assure that there's limited interaction between people."

Greene County Public Health also released safety tips for trick-or-treating this year.

In addition to wearing a mask, social distancing and traveling in small groups, the health agency also advised people practice good hand hygiene and using hand sanitizer while trick-or treating.

Instead of having children reach into a communal bowl of candy, people can make goody bags or set up a one-way route to avoid crowing, according to Public Health.

If a household is giving out goody bags, the person putting them together should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after making them.

Finally, anyone who is sick, feeling unwell or thinks they were exposed to COVID-19 should stay home, Public Health said.

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Kristen Spicker