With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rising, you don’t have to abandon Halloween and Día de los Muertos activities, but you can make them safer this year. The Texas Department of State Health Services is sharing tips on what you can do to minimize the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus during this season.
The safest activities are those that put you in direct contact only with people you live with. You can carve pumpkins or decorate your home, prepare a meal that was a favorite of your deceased loved ones, make an ofrenda, or participate in an online costume contest or fashion show.
Outdoor activities can provide more space for physical distancing and reduce the risk of spreading the virus from one person to another. Join in a neighborhood costume parade or scavenger hunt where people stay six feet apart. Decorate the graves of loved ones or have a small group of family and friends for an outdoor meal at a safe distance. Instead of door-to-door trick or treating, leave individually bagged treats at the end of the driveway or on the front steps so children can pick them up without direct contact with other people.
Large, indoor gatherings and anything that brings you face-to-face with people you don’t live with should be avoided.
Masks are more important than ever, but a costume mask is not a substitute for a protective cloth mask. It won’t provide the same kind of protection unless it has at least two layers of breathable fabric that completely cover the nose and mouth. Build a protective mask into your costume, and don’t wear separate protective and costume masks at the same time because that can make it more difficult to breathe.
As always, washing your hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when you’re sick will help prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses from spreading.