DPH releases Halloween guidance for CT residents, recommends virtual events over door-to-door trick-or-treating

Coronavirus

Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s Department of Public Health released guidance for Halloween Thursday in an effort to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Among the recommendations is opting for virtual events and avoiding traditional trick-or-treating.

CT DPH says, “Traditional Halloween activities carry a high risk for spreading COVID-19, but we can reduce that risk significantly by organizing and participating in fun, lower or moderate risk alternatives. The CT DPH recommends that everyone planning to participate in Halloween activities this year review the guidance recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That guidance describes “lower” “moderate” and “higher” risk activities.”

RELATED: Trick-or-treat? Some safety tips to keep in mind this Halloween

CT DPH says activities that should be avoided include: traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treat events, going through an indoor haunted house where people may be screaming, and large Halloween parades where physical distance cannot be maintained.

If you are planning to hand out candy, DPH reminds you to make sure your hands are washed thoroughly, you are wearing a face-covering over your nose and mouth, and are remaining six feet from those who are not in your household.

“To those who wanted to go out with their kids and enjoy Halloween, we’re not standing in the way, we’re just giving you clear guidance on how you can do that safely. For those of you who don’t necessarily want kids coming up to your door…you can probably skip this Halloween and keep the door closed,” said Governor Ned Lamont.

Instead of traditional trick-or-treating, CT DPH recommends participating in one-way trick-or-treating where goodie bags or a large bowl of candy are placed outside of your home for families to grab-and-go while continuing to social distance.

The health department recommendations of activities to consider as alternatives include: virtual costume contests, drive-by Halloween events, or a Halloween movie night with members of your household.

RELATED: CDC warns Americans to ‘avoid’ trick-or-treating for Halloween

For costume selections, DPH says, “A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth or surgical mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and does not leave gaps around the face.”

They warn that those wearing costumes should not wear Halloween masks under or over their COVID-19 face coverings. Not only may it limit the effectiveness of the face covering, but there is also a danger of suffocation.

News 8 spoke to Carlos and his grandma outside the Spirit Halloween store in North Haven Thursday afternoon. If their usual celebratory parade doesn’t happen in the neighborhood they’ll make do.

Ann Marie Gambardella of New Haven told us, “It’s kind of like a tradition Halloween at my mom’s house so you’re still gonna keep the tradition alive despite what’s going on, yes even if he can’t trick-or-treat we’re still going to be in front of her house. I’m gonna decorate and do all that stuff.”

For the full list of recommended events to consider and events to avoid, click here.

DPH also recommends, when considering activities, make sure to “maintain social distancing and follow face-covering rules.” Adding, “please refrain from leaving your home for any Halloween activity and do not pass out Halloween candy if you are ill or have traveled to one of the states listed on the Connecticut travel advisory between October 16th and October 30th (i.e. 14 days before Halloween).”

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