The COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout Tulare County. Many outbreaks have been attributed to large gatherings during the holidays.
Tulare County is one of the few counties in California to remain in the most restrictive purple level. More than 17,000 positive cases have been reported since mid-March.
With Halloween just weeks away, public health officials are urging residents to protect themselves by participating in “low-risk activities.”
Tulare County Public Health Officer Dr Karen Haught urged residents to follow public health guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 by not meeting with others outside of your immediate home .
Many traditional Halloween activities can pose a high risk of spreading viruses, including COVID-19, Haught said. There are several safer and alternative ways to participate in the Halloween festivities while reducing the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. “
High risk activities include:
- Halloween meetings or parties with non-household members
- Carnivals, festivals and haunted house attractions pose a high risk of the spread of COVID-19
- Participate in crowded costume parties held indoors
- Go to an indoor haunted house where people can be crowded and scream
- Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behavior
- Participate in traditional treats where treats are given to children who door-to-door as it is difficult to maintain a good social distance on porches and at front doors
- Trunk or treat events where treats are handed out from car trunks lined up in large parking lots
- Take hay or tractor rides with people other than your household
Low risk activities include:
- Cut or decorate pumpkins with members of your household and display them
- Decorate your home, apartment or living space
- Go on a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween themed things to look for as they walk outside house to house admiring Halloween decorations from a distance
- Organize a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Spend a Halloween movie night with the people you live with
- Conduct a scavenger hunt-style search with members of your household in or around your home rather than going from house to house
- Contactless online or virtual pumpkin carving / costume contest
- Driving events or contests where people dress or decorate their vehicles
- Walk through an area with Halloween displays
- Drive-in events where the organizer distributes pre-packaged treat bags
“If you have COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in Halloween festivities in person and should not give cheaters candy,” said Haught.
Following these recommendations will help Tulare County meet the thresholds required to lift restrictions on businesses and fully reopen local schools, allowing children to return to class, she added.
Sheyanne Romero covers Tulare County Public Safety, Local Government, and Business for the Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register newspapers. Follow her on Twitter @sheyanne_VTD. Receive alerts and stay up to date on all things Tulare County for as little as $ 1 per month. Subscribe today.
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