CHAMPAIGN – Halloween is just around the corner, and public health officials are encouraging everyone to celebrate safely.
The biggest advice is the same we’ve been hearing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic: practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings, and wear a mask.
But a spooky plastic mask is no substitute for a cloth face covering, when it comes to preventing the spread of the coronavirus. So health officials suggest people get creative — and incorporate a proper face covering into their costumes.
Champaign-Urbana Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde says people should only trick-or-treat outdoors — and with members of their own household.
“The issue is having groups get together,” Pryde says. “Halloween parties are very much a concern to us. Anything that involves gathering indoors is especially problematic.”
Those who want to distribute candy should leave it spread out — outside — on a table at least six feet away from the door.
Trick-or-treaters should sanitize or wash hands before eating candy. And dental hygiene is still important during a pandemic, so make sure to brush your teeth.
Additional information on alternative activities, Día de los Muertos, and what to do if you participated in higher-risk activity or think that you may have been exposed during your celebration can be found on CUPHD’s Facebook page and website.
Dr. Sadiya Khana, epidemiologist and professor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, spoke with The 21st show about Halloween safety. Find that conversation here.
If you have a question you would like Illinois Newsroom to address regarding COVID-19, submit it here.