Halloween Covid-19 Guidance
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Do you have plans to trick or treat this Halloween weekend or perhaps you’ve decided to host a spooky halloween party?
News 12 spoke with local health officials about how you can keep your children and community safe while still getting your boo on.
“ Halloween is a great opportunity to do something social and do it in a safe way. Key advantage is that it’s an outdoor holiday. We know that about 90% of transmission occurs indoors so the sheer fact that the vast majority of trick or treating occurs outside is very helpful,” says Dr. Jensen Hyde, Hospitalist at Erlanger Hospital.
During the last few months our community has struggled with the surge in Covid-19 cases due to the delta variant. Fortunately we are beginning to see a steady decline- so is there concern that the upcoming holiday poses a threat to unvaccinated children and their families?
Local health experts say there are still plenty of ways to celebrate safely.
“We want to normalize things as much as possible. It’s been a really hard year for everyone and I think it’s easy to forget about kids because they tend to be resilient but the disruption of routine, the decreased chance to be around your friends. There’s a lot of challenges that come with that. So I think that just getting to do something different for a little while and not think about everything that’s going on in the world but doing that in a way that you can still be safe,” says Dr. Matthew Campbell, Pediatrician at CHI Memorial.
Officials suggest incorporating a mask into you and your child’s costume, avoiding large indoor gatherings, and only trick or treating with your household’s social bubble.
“Carry hand sanitizer with you particularly if you are going to be touching candy that you can sanitize in between visits. For those who are handing out candy-maybe do prepackaged bags,” says Dr. Campbell.
Health officials are confident the vaccine will be available to children within the next week , hopefully allowing upcoming holidays to be celebrated- normally.
“28 million is a ton of individuals that are participating in sports, going to stores and hanging out with friends/family. This is a huge turning point. Hopefully the 6 months to 4 year data will not be far behind and we will have the ability for everyone 6 months and up to be vaccine eligible. With good uptake this could be a huge turning point in this pandemic,” says Dr. Hyde.
For more information about how you can celebrate safely this Halloween weekend, click here.