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How families can celebrate Halloween safely during pandemic

Posted at 12:25 AM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 00:28:55-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Halloween will look a lot different in 2020 because of the pandemic. In fact, some notable events have already been canceled in Central Virginia.

For example, Petersburg will not host their annual trunk-or-treat and Richmond's iconic Hanover Avenue Halloween event has been scrapped over COVID-19 concerns.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney urged folks to stay home on Halloween.

In preparation for the upcoming holiday, the Centers for Disease Control rated activities from low to high risk.

Activities at home, like carving pumpkins or watching Halloween movies are deemed low risk.

Putting individually wrapped bags of candy outside your home for trick-or-treaters to grab or visiting a pumpkin patch while practicing social distance comes in at at a moderate risk, according to the CDC.

While traditional trick-or-treating, crowded costume parties or indoor haunted houses are all considered high-risk activities.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Goochland is planning a drive-thru event for their members.

"We will do whatever we can with in the realm of keeping our parishioners safe and the staff safe," Ameila McDaniel with St. Mary's said.

McDaniel said volunteers will be wearing masks and there will be plenty of hand sanitizer.

"We've never done anything for Halloween before," McDaniel explained. "This is brand new to us, but we wanted to make sure if they did not have something to do. That we offer something."

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.