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Home > About Us > Media Article Library > Essentia Health urges caution, safety this Halloween
Published on October 27, 2020
Trick-or-treating is sure to be much trickier this year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Halloween will present myriad challenges as families determine how best to celebrate the social, sugary holiday.
“Halloween doesn’t need to end just because we are in a pandemic, but it does need to be different,” said Dr. Jonathan KenKnight, a pediatrician at Essentia Health.
Dr. KenKnight advises people to plan ahead. Consider outdoor activities wherein ample social distancing is possible. Be sure to wear a mask with your costume. Avoid large gatherings such as costume parties and haunted houses, and stay home if you don’t feel well. If you are hosting or attending an indoor get-together, keep it small (10 people or fewer); wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose; set up seating ahead of time that allows for space between people; minimize sharing items with people not in your household; open windows and/or doors for better air flow; and maintain a list of attendees in case one of them has or contracts COVID-19.
Traditional trick-or-treating is considered a high-risk activity by the Minnesota Department of Health. If you plan to give out treats, Dr. KenKnight suggests sitting outside while wearing a mask and having pre-packaged goodie bags to hand out, rather than having kids reach into a bowl for candy. Emphasize social distancing and have hand sanitizer available.
Dr. KenKnight also says it’s a good idea to thoroughly wipe down your child’s candy after returning home, and then let it sit for a couple days. Frequent hand-washing is encouraged.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following recommendations for a safe Halloween:
The Minnesota Department of Health reminds everyone that “anytime you gather with people you do not live with, the risk of infection increases for everyone.” As cases of COVID-19 increase throughout our communities, please be safe and smart this Halloween.
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