DENVER (CBS4) — Denver is not banning trick-or-treating this Halloween, but city and state officials are suggesting changes and recommending alternatives.
“Know that visiting people from another household or staying close together for hours brings with it a risk of virus transmission. The more households you visit, the greater chance germs may spread and linger,” the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) warns.
City and state health departments issued the following recommendations for people who choose to participate in trick-or-treating:
- Have adults accompany trick-or-treaters to help them follow precautions;
- Trick-or-treating should be done with people you live with;
- Keep six feet apart from those not in your household;
- Limit the time you spend at doorways;
- Stay in your own neighborhood;
- Take a break in between multiple homes and have your kids clean their hands with sanitizer;
- When you get home for the night, wash your hands immediately;
- Save the candy eating for when you return home;
- Those who are immune compromised or not feeling well should not participate in any activities and avoid visitors.
The DDPHE said wearing a protective face mask is important — but warned that wearing a costume mask over a cloth face covering may make it hard to breathe.
“Costume masks are not a substitute for cloth face-coverings unless they are made from two or more breathable fabric layers that cover the nose and mouth, with no gaps around the face,” the website states. “Consider a Halloween-themed cloth face-covering as part of the costume.”
Denver officials said handing treats out at the door is a low-risk activity, but urge people to wear masks, use hand sanitizer and avoid “having lots of little hands reaching inside a bowl or leaving a bowl outside your door.”
“Also, it won’t hurt to disinfect your doorbell, buzzers, or other high-touch surfaces outside your home at evening’s end,” the DDPHE website states.
The state health department is encouraging alternatives to traditional, door-to-door trick-or-treating this year to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, such as:
- Line up individually wrapped treats at the end of the driveway or yard’s edge;
- Use a plastic slide, cardboard tubes, or plastic pipes to deliver candy from a distance;
- Take kids on an outdoor, distanced scavenger hunt to look for candy or Halloween-themed items.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is also reminding Coloradans that parties with alcohol and drugs can cloud judgement and increase riskier behaviors.
State officials made additional suggestions to minimize the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19:
People should not participate in any in-person activities, including handing out candy, if they:
- Are sick, especially with COVID-19 symptoms.
- Have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are currently in the quarantine period.
- Have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently in the isolation period.