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Health officials urge residents to avoid social gatherings for Halloween

They are are discouraging any gatherings that involve people in groups.
With Halloween approaching this weekend, health officials in the Quad Cities are reminding...
With Halloween approaching this weekend, health officials in the Quad Cities are reminding residents to be safe during the pandemic.(MGN Image)
Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 4:43 PM CDT
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QUAD CITIES (KWQC) - With Halloween approaching this weekend, health officials in the Quad Cities are reminding residents to be safe during the pandemic.

“As has been the case for most of 2020, COVID-19 will play a role in both of these events in our community,” Rock Island County Health Department’s administrator Nita Ludwig said of Halloween and the presidential election. “Please do your best to minimize the spread of COVID-19 as you participate in these activities.”

  • There is still time to plan for low-risk Halloween activities such as:
    • Scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home
    • Car parades
    • One-way trick-or-treating where you surprise family or friends with pre-wrapped Halloween goodie bags on their front porch
  • For those wishing to trick-or-treat or trunk-or-treat:
    • Wear a protective face mask (either instead of or under your Halloween mask)
    • Trick-or-treat with members of your household only.
    • Limit the number of houses/trunks you visit.
    • Do not crowd at a door; give yourself space between other groups.
    • Stay local. Avoid the urge to attend events in other towns.
    • Use hand sanitizer before eating any candy and as needed.
  • If you are still wishing to pass out candy for trick-or-treaters near you:
    • Remember that children frequently show mild symptoms when they are infected with COVID.
    • Instead of handing out candy face to face, set up the treat station at least 6 feet from your front door. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before placing the candy on the table and when refilling.
    • Better yet, leave individually wrapped candy on the front porch or sidewalk with the pieces spread out to limit interaction with trick-or-treaters.
    • Wear a proper face mask. A costume mask, such as those worn for Halloween, is not a substitute for a face covering. If face coverings are worn under costume masks, please ensure this does not create breathing problems, and if so, discard the costume mask.

Due to the high spread of COVID-19 in our communities right now, health officials are discouraging any Halloween social gatherings that involve people in groups because:

  • Large gatherings with more people are considered higher risk than smaller group gatherings.
  • Any indoor parties or gatherings, no matter how large or small, should include social distancing, wearing masks, and handwashing.
  • The more time you spend at a gathering, the closer the contact, the more people, the higher your risk of exposure to COVID-19.

If you participated in higher-risk activities and you feel symptoms, you should:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Avoid being around people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Consider getting tested for COVID-19 and then stay home until you know the results.

More information

· https://www.scottcountyiowa.gov/health/post/do-masks-prevent-covid-19

· https://togetherqc.com/2020/10/mask-mandate-local-initiative/

· www.TogetherQC.com

· coronavirus.iowa.gov

· https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19

· https://www.dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics?regionID=2

· https://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics?county=Rock%20Island

· https://www2.illinois.gov/idoc/facilities/Pages/Covid19Response.aspx

· https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/long-term-care-facility-outbreaks-covid-19

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