Halloween Recommendations from St. Charles Public Health

jack o lanternsLike other activities, Halloween celebrations may look a little different this year because of COVID-19. To help little ghouls and goblins enjoy the festivities safely, the St. Charles County Department of Public Health joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in issuing recommendations focused on reducing the risks for spreading illness.

“Following recommended precautions during Halloween festivities will help to make the risk for spreading COVID-19 less scary,” Department of Public Health Director Demetrius Cianci-Chapman says. “Parents need to have conversations with their kids about the importance of following the recommendations to socially distance, wash hands, avoid commonly touched surfaces and wear masks.”

Lower Risk Trick-or-Treating Tips

As interacting with many people over the course of a night can create a high risk for disease spread, parents should establish trick-or-treating ground rules. The Department of Public Health and CDC recommend:

  • Decorating neighborhood homes for the holiday and hosting a drive-by parade to view the decorations.
  • Planning a photo scavenger hunt around the neighborhood, virtual costume contest or stay-in scary movie night with your family. 
  • Gathering with your immediate family or a small group of individuals that you know have successfully practiced social distancing and limiting the number of places your group visits.
  • Wearing disposable or cloth masks at all times. Incorporate decorated face coverings into costumes, as traditional costume masks are not an appropriate substitute for protective face coverings.
  • Giving pre-bagged treats that kids can pick up themselves on a socially distanced table in a driveway or yard, as opposed to handing out individual treats at the door. 
  • Washing hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer regularly when collecting or distributing treats.
  • Hosting or attending outdoor activities with social distancing and mask wearing enforced, as opposed to crowded, poorly ventilated indoor events.
  • Any individual who is sick, is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, is awaiting test results, or may have been exposed to the virus stays home and avoids contact with others.

The CDC offers additional considerations for other fall festivities and community gatherings on its website.

Following recommended precautions such as maintaining social distancing, washing hands and frequently touched surfaces regularly and covering your nose and mouth will reduce the risk for exposure to or spreading contagious illnesses. For additional information on St. Charles County’s efforts to reduce the spread of illness, visit sccmo.org/COVID. For questions about symptoms or testing, call the St. Charles County COVID-19 Hotline at 636-949-1899 or speak with a medical provider.