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State, CDC issue guidelines for safe Halloween

Health officials stressed if you have symptoms or were in close contact with someone who does, don’t participate in Halloween activities.

INDIANAPOLIS — During Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing, Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said she doesn’t want to be the “witch” who ruins Halloween, but she doesn’t want COVID-19 to ruin it either.  

So she gave several recommendations for Halloween activities this year based on what the Centers for Disease Control released last week.

The recommendations were categorized from low to high-risk activities.  

Low risk: 

Indiana and the CDC said low-risk activities include anything where you are staying indoors or around your home. That includes carving or decorating pumpkins, doing a scavenger hunt outside or indoor trick-or-treating with family. Any virtual event would also be considered low risk.  

Moderate risk: 

Moderate-risk activities could include, a “one-way” trick-or-treat system where neighbors prepare wrapped items for kids to pick up from the end of their driveways or yards. If you are preparing a bag, make sure to wash your hands first.  

The state also recommends doing an outdoor costume parade or party while social distancing. They also suggest going to a pumpkin patch or doing an outdoor movie night.  

High risk: 

The state health commissioner says high-risk activities are the more traditional Halloween events including door-to-door trick-or-treating. Trunk-or-treat, where cars hand out candy in a parking lot, is also considered high-risk.  Any type of large Halloween party or haunted house is not recommended. 

Costumes: 

This year, families are encouraged to be creative and incorporate a mask. The CDC says not to use a costume mask as a replacement for a cloth mask unless there are two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around your face. 

To be safe, it is recommended you use a cloth mask. The CDC warns not to double up on a cloth mask and costume mask because it will make it hard to breathe.  

Screaming: 

If you are brave enough to go to a haunted house where you will likely scream, greater distancing is advised, and you should remain more than six feet apart. You should also wear a mask the whole time.  

Health officials stressed if you have symptoms or were in close contact with someone who does, don’t participate in Halloween activities. The state also recommends if you are at a high risk for COVID-19, or you know someone who is, stay away from crowds this Halloween. 

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