As Halloween approaches, doctor gives tips on trick-or-treating safely

Dr. Mark Burns suggested families avoid large groups, distance when they can, and wear masks when going door-to-door for candy.
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 6:39 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Halloween is right around the corner, and health professionals are trying to keep people safe from COVID-19 when trick-or-treating begins.

Dr. Mark Burns, an infectious disease specialist with UofL Health, offered general health tips for families who plan to go trick-or-treating this year.

“[Children] should continue to wear masks,” Burns said. “They should distance when they can and definitely wash their hands, especially as they’re counting their candy or going to eat their candy. They should definitely wash their hands before all that’s done.”

Burns also told WAVE 3 News families should feel more comfortable that trick-or-treating would be held outdoors, and not in closed-in spaces.

Meanwhile, a classic Louisville Halloween celebration is canceled for the second year in a row. Last week, the annual Halloween on Hillcrest was officially called off for 2021, with candy distribution and home decoration left up to individual homeowners.

On Monday, several neighbors were still preparing their front lawns for Halloween.

“This is my favorite holiday so it was the perfect street to live on,” Emily Wilson said.

Wilson, who decorated her yard with dozens of dolls, told WAVE 3 News she would use the off year as a trial run for a big celebration in 2022.

“We can really test out our idea this year and then once everything is back in the swing of things, we’ll be able to add to it, just based on what we’re seeing and just get more creative as the years come,” she said.

Down the block, the potions were still brewing outside Katie Kubitskey’s home.

Kubitskey has taken the organizational lead in the neighborhood, creating signs to show there will be no organized trick or treating effort on Hillcrest in 2021.

She told WAVE 3 News she understands why her neighbors wanted to scale down the event, but still said she wanted to make her home look inviting for potential sightseers.

“We usually get 4,000 kids, and that doesn’t count the parents or chaperones that are bringing them down here,” Kubitskey said. “So during COVID, with kids not being vaccinated, that’s just not a smart idea to do.”

A spokesperson for Louisville Metro Public Health told WAVE 3 News there is currently no set citywide COVID-19 guidance for Halloween.

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