Vanderbilt doctor advises how to celebrate Halloween safely amid COVID-19

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — COVID-19 isn’t stopping Halloween celebrations, just changing the way they operate. According to the National Retail Federation, 96% of people plan to buy candy and 46% intend to dress up. About of a quarter of those surveyed will go trick-or-treating.

“It’s going to be different and it’s going to be harder,” said Dr. Joseph Gigante, pediatrician at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. “I think families can perhaps consider staying more local in their neighborhood and I think often times, families know other families who have been really good about being safe and taking precautions.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for a safer experience, including wearing a mask, social distance and wash your hands. It’s also recommended you keep hand sanitizer with you at all times over the Halloween weekend.

Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital recommends the following activities to minimize the risk of COVID transmission:

  • Carving/decorating pumpkins outside with family members or neighbors in small gatherings. Groups of 10 or less is best. Ensure physical distancing and mask wearing.
  • Creating a scavenger hunt style trick-or-treating activity around the home rather the traditional door-to-door method.
  • Hosting an outdoor Halloween movie night with physical distancing.
  • Visiting a pumpkin patch or apple orchard to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Masking is still suggested as well as proper hand hygiene. Physical distancing is a bit easier in these scenarios.
  • Costume parades allow for a one-way, controlled display of children dressed up and allows for physical distancing. Children could receive a small grab-and-go gift or bag of candy at the end.

If you are welcoming trick-or-treaters to your door, individually wrap candy in bags and leave them outside.

Doctors warn against wearing a cloth mask under a traditional Halloween mask because of the potential for breathing difficulty. A traditional Halloween mask will not protect you from COVID-19.

Vanderbilt recommends avoiding direct contact with trick-or-treaters, crowded parties, haunted houses and hayrides.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

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