TUCSON, Ariz. — County health officials have new guidelines to help trick-or-treaters stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic this Halloween.
Last month, the Pima County Health Department issued initial guidelines that recommended against trick-or-treating and Halloween gatherings. But in new, updated guidance issued Thursday, PCHD outlines ways families and children can stay safe if they do decide to participate in traditional Halloween activities.
While PCHD is still stressing that it's safer to stay home, here are their recommendations for those who still want to go trick-or-treating this year:
If you will be handing out candy – give treats outdoors instead of at the doorstep or other enclosed spaces. Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters by setting up a table or station with pre-packaged treats for kids to take. Prevent groups of children and others from bunching up by keeping decorations and other obstacles clear from pathways. Be sure to wear a mask while out.
For adults – Bring hand sanitizer and take “clean hand” breaks for children and adults. Take your time and be mindful of keeping six feet of distance from others. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating any treats. Keep yourself or any family members at home if they are sick. Make sure to wear a cloth mask as well.
For your trick-or-treaters – Make a cloth mask part of their costume. Costume masks are not a suitable substitute for a cloth mask. Do not wear a costume mask that covers your mouth or nose over a cloth mask. It can make breathing difficult. Stay at least six feet away from others who do not live with you. Give others time and space to move from an area before approaching.
“These steps work best when used together. Hand washing and wearing a mask and staying physically distant, even in these settings, is better than not taking any precautions," Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen said in a statement.