DOH Advises on Socially-Distanced Halloween to Avoid COVID-19 Spread
With Halloween quickly approaching, the Department of Health is advising families to avoid trick-or-treating in an effort avoid the spread of COVID-19.
DOH suggested families celebrate the Oct. 31 holiday within their own homes with their household members, as opposed to the traditional door-to-door candy collecting, which is considered a high-risk activity with children handed treats or taking candy from a shared bucket.
“It’s more important than ever to put safety first,” said DOH Director Elizabeth Char. “Gatherings on Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day led to spikes in positive cases in Hawai‘i. 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.”
Communities have already planned events for the festivities that allow for social distancing. These include contactless trick-or-treating and drive-through pumpkin patches.
Other 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, and hosting a virtual Halloween costume contest.
“Choosing these low-risk Halloween activities can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 illness, decrease the impact on our state’s health care system, and save lives,” DOH stated in a press release.
DOH continues to encourage residents to keep following the safety practices — avoid large gatherings, keep a distance of six feet from others, wash hands often, and wear a cloth face covering.
“Carefully plan your costume. Because Halloween masks have nose and mouth holes, they will not protect you or others from COVID-19,” Char said. “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.”