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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 83° Today's Paper

Hawaii News

Health Department urges safe Halloween with household members at home and not trick-or-treating

The Department of Health is encouraging everyone to find fun alternatives to Halloween traditions to avoid “the scare of being exposed or spreading the coronavirus.”

DOH recommends celebrating with household members at home and avoiding trick-or-treating door to door or wherever treats are handed to children or taken from a shared bucket.

This would involve what DOH classifies as a high-risk activity since it may result in close contact or crowding with others outside one’s household.

“It’s more important to put safety first,” Health Director Elizabeth Char said in a news release. “Gatherings on Memorial Day, July 4th 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.”

Some fun and safe activities being planned by some communities include contactless trick-or-treating and drive-thru pumpkin patches to be enjoyed through the month.

Other tips for safe, low-risk activities are hosting a scary movie watch party online, organizing a neighborhood pumpkin carving contest and carving pumpkins with those within one’s household and hosting a virtual Halloween costume contest.

Choosing low-risk Halloween activities could help prevent COVID-19 illness, avoid further impact on the state’s health care system and save lives, DOH said.

DOH encourages everyone to avoid large gatherings, keep a distance of 6 feet from others, wash hands often and wear a cloth face covering.

Char reminds everyone to “carefully plan your costume” because Halloween masks typically have nose and mouth openings, which do not protect 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,” Char said. “Instead, consider a Halloween- themed cloth face mask.”

For more holiday safety tips, go to HawaiiCOVID19.com/safe-halloween and bit.ly/3iLc2tH.

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