Oct 5, 2020
Denver Dept. of Public Health & Environment offers guidelines to remain safe on scariest night of year
Halloween might look a little scarier this year, with uncertainty about what we can and cannot do to celebrate the holiday and remain safe.
The state’s COVID-19 Dial Dashboard shows the level of the virus in each county in the state. In Denver, we are at Safer at Home, Level 2: Concern. Of five levels, this is in the middle. The lowest level is Protect Our Neighbors. Level 2 does mean certain restrictions. But it doesn’t have to ruin your holiday. The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) recommends the following for who choose to participate in Halloween activities:
Trick-or-treating should be done with people you live with. Keep six feet apart from those not in your household. 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. Also, those who are immune compromised or not feeling well should not participate in any activities and avoid visitors.
Remember to bring hand sanitizer and have children practice not touching their faces. 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.
Handing treats out at the door is a low-risk activity. Be sure to wear masks and use hand sanitizer. Avoid having lots of little hands reaching inside a bowl or leaving a bowl outside your door. You also can provide a table with treats spaced out. This keeps contact to a minimum. The main point is to limit your interaction with others as much as possible. Also, it won’t hurt to disinfect your doorbell, buzzers, or other high-touch surfaces outside your home at evening’s end.
A protective face mask is most important. Make sure it covers both your nose and mouth. 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. Wearing a costume mask over a cloth face covering may make it hard to breathe. Instead, consider a Halloween-themed cloth face-covering as part of the costume. Kids two years and younger are not required to wear a face covering, but everyone three years and older must wear one unless they cannot medically tolerate it.
Keep the party outdoors and keep the numbers small, no more than 10 people. Remember to wear your masks and maintain proper social distancing of at least six feet from others. Set up chairs and tables so everyone can be social, but still safely apart. Also, food and drinks should be prepackaged or in single servings—no shared foods or drinks, no buffets—with hand sanitizers readily available. Also, avoid karaoke, since singing more easily spreads the virus.
The businesses that deliver fright must limit capacity. They must strictly enforce proper social distancing between groups. All surfaces and touch points must be regularly sanitized. All visitors must wear face coverings. All staff must wear face coverings and have their temperature screened. With capacity limitations in place, make a reservation to assure you get in the door before the event sells out for the night.
“Halloween 2020 will be unlike any other in recent history. We’re dealing with a global pandemic. And for most of us, it means uncertain times. But if we are careful, if we maintain proper social distancing, if we wear our face coverings and use sanitizer, we can maintain a little bit of our traditions and enjoy a fun evening with loved ones,” says Robert McDonald, Executive Director of DDPHE and Denver’s Public Health Administrator.
As we get closer to Halloween, keep an eye on the state’s COVID-19 Dial Dashboard for changes that could mean further restrictions. Have fun, be safe, and hopefully, you’ll only be scared by the ghosts and goblins enjoying the night.