‘Better than last year’: How to keep Halloween safe as COVID-19 lingers

Connecticut Families

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — “Well, I think it’s probably going to be better than last year,” sixth-grader Maeve O’Shaughnessey of North Haven said

That’s a popular opinion, but as the pandemic lingers, how should we celebrate Halloween safely?

“A trick-or-treat treasure hunt,” O’Shaughnessey suggested. “That’s a tongue twister!”

“I think they can go trick-or-treating this year,” Dr. Melissa Held, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Connecticut Children’s in Hartford said. “We know a lot more about COVID today than we did a year ago.”

Held also advises us to get our flu shots as soon as possible.

Held wrote this blog post, advising folks to celebrate outdoors yet continue to mask up and not just the costume kind!

“The majority of kids that will be out trick-or-treating are unvaccinated,” Held said. “These are our under 12-year-olds who are not vaccinated.”

So, Held recommends staying in your bubble.

“Keep in groups, relatively small,” Held said. “Go with siblings or a friend or two you’ve already been spending a lot of time with.”

Limit the number of houses you go to and, if the kids are touching doorbells or anything, sanitize frequently, Held said.

“Hand hygiene we knew, even before COVID, is one of the best ways to prevent any illness,” Held said.

When preparing to greet visitors at your house, you should also sanitize before you prep and serve individually wrapped bags of candy.

“You can put them out on a tray, so each child can just grab one when they come to the front door,” Held said. 

“You can do like trick-or-treat stands,” O’Shaughnessey said.

Last tip: if you’re feeling at all sick, stay home. If all is well, go out and have some fun safely.

O’Shaughnessey is already in the spirit, sharing what she loves about this spooky event.

“Like, a lot of stuff! Mainly the candy,” she smiles.

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