St. Croix, US Virgin Islands (October 28, 2020) – The Virgin Islands Department of Health strongly urges residents to celebrate Halloween safely during COVID-19 by avoiding higher risk activities like traditional trick-or-treating. While customary activities may be fun for many, considerations for the COVID-19 pandemic must be made.
Residents can still have a good time, but safety must come first. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here are the activities you should avoid that pose the highest risk for spreading COVID-19:
- Avoid participating in door-to-door traditional trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating where cars line up in large parking lots and treats are handed out from the trunks of cars.
- Avoid attending any indoor functions like haunted houses and costume parties. These events are usually crowded, and people may scream and spread particles in the air.
- Avoid using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud your judgment and increase risky behaviors like laxed social distancing and improper mask use.
The following activities are lower risk and are safer alternatives:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with your household members and displaying them outside for passersby or on social media.
- Decorating your house, apartment, office, or living space.
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest.
- Having a Halloween movie night with the people you live with.
- Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house-to-house.
If you choose to participate in other, less risky activities, there are still some things to consider. When preparing treats for friends or neighbors, wear your mask and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags. Persons who are sick should not prepare goodie bags.
If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised—the greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus. Always wear a surgical mask or facial covering when celebrating with anyone who you don’t live with.
A costume mask (like a character mask) is not an appropriate substitute for protection against COVID-19. However, please be careful not to restrict your breathing by wearing a protective mask and a costume mask.
No matter what you choose to do, people who are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19 should NOT host or participate in any in-person festivities.
If you or anyone in your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others, have symptoms of COVID-19, is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results, or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you must remain in quarantine.