Health expert offers safe Halloween suggestions amid pandemic

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 9:48 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - While the most frightening parts of 2020 are hopefully behind us, the spookiest is just days away. Skeletons are staking their claim to stoops across WAVE Country as Halloween is right around the corner.

Those at Norton Healthcare acknowledge things are going to be different this year because of the ongoing pandemic, but they say families can still have fun.

“So, Easter egg hunt, right,” Dr. Kristina Bryant, pediatric infectious disease specialist with Norton Children’s Hospital, said. “Lots of families do that in the spring. Fill up eggs with candy hide them around the yard. This year, some families may want to hide treats around their own house or their own yard and that becomes trick-or-treating.”

Bryant said traditional trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating are considered high risk by the state of Kentucky and the CDC. She instead suggests finding a way to keep kids and candy distant from each other like setting up a spread-out candy station instead of using a bowl on the porch.

When it comes to candy, she added the state suggests cleaning wrappers with sanitizing wipes.

She said other Halloween activities have varying levels of COVID-19 risk.

“Haunted houses, inside where you have people screaming, that’s a high-risk activity,” Bryant said. “I personally would not advise that. The CDC recommends against that.”

Whether someone is dressing up their toddler as Dr. Fauci or repurposing the last roll of toilet paper into a mummy costume, 2020 means people should still wear a cloth mask while around others. A typical Halloween mask won’t protect them, and Bryant doesn’t advise wearing both at the same time.

Bryant said if someone can wear a mask, stay socially distant and wash their hands, a pumpkin patch could be safe for most. She added things like carving a jack-o-lantern and decorating are still possible.

“I think that as parents and adults that kids look up to we need to promote all of the things that we can do and all of the ways that we’re going to have a fun Halloween,” Bryant said.

If people follow precautions and don’t have symptoms after trick-or-treating, the specialist adds, they likely won’t need to get a COVID test afterward.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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