With a fall surge in Coronavirus cases in the Commonwealth, state officials want to make sure that Halloween doesn’t make matters worse. State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine admits she is concerned about the upcoming holiday.
“That’s not the type of scariness we want,” she said in a one-on-one interview with abc27. “We want a fun time for children and their families.”
But can that fun include trick-or-treating? She says it can; with some major adjustments.
“Many of the traditional activities of trick-or-treating…going door-to-door, with large groups of children all putting their hands into the same container and pulling out candy, that really wouldn’t be safe,” Levine said.
Instead, Levine recommends individually packaged treats, put out for kids in a way that they don’t need to cluster together to get them.
“We recommend that families then place the candy in a paper bag…put that down by the end of the driveway all kind of lined up so that families and children can pick those up,” Levine said. “And of course they should be washing their hands and such as they prepare that bag.”
Levine says you should only trick-or-treat with direct family members and that typical Halloween masks shouldn’t be worn this year.
“A costume mask is not sufficient in protecting against COVID-19,” she said. “But you shouldn’t put a costume mask over one of the cloth masks because that could lead to difficulty breathing.”
With small groups of friends and neighbors leading the latest spread of the virus, Levine says now is not the time to let our guard down.
“This should definitely be a warning call,” she said. “We are seeing increasing community spread of COVID-19 in almost half the counties in Pennsylvania and so we have to take that into consideration of all our activities, including a usually fun activity like Halloween.”
For a link to Halloween recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here.