CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Health said on Friday, Oct. 2 that “Halloween is not cancelled.”
The department “is encouraging Wyoming families to make plans for fall celebrations this year that accommodate COVID-19 concerns while also offering fun and meaningful activities.”
State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist noted that people look forward to this time of year for both Halloween and Día de los Muertos activities.
“While some adjustments are needed to help keep people safe this year due to the pandemic, there are still options available for enjoying these holidays,” Harrist said. “Our primary recommendations for helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our everyday lives, such as appropriate physical distancing and the use of cloth face coverings, also apply to celebrations.”
“And, of course, if you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in holiday activities.”
Traditional trick-or-treating can still go on, the WDH said.
“If children and their family escorts remain outdoors without staying more than a few minutes at each home, and the people giving the treats do not invite them indoors, the risk associated with this activity can be lowered,” Harrist said. “Trunk-or-treat events where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots can also be lower risk if everyone remains outdoors, avoids gathering in large groups and moves through quickly.”
The WDH said that some traditional Halloween or Día de los Muertos activities are high risk. They recommend that people avoid:
- Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
- Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
- Attending large indoor celebrations with singing or chanting
- Participating in other crowded indoor gatherings, events or dinner parties
The WDH also provided the following advise about wearing costumes and masks:
- Do not use costume masks as substitutes for cloth masks unless made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose without gaps around the face.
- Do not wear costume masks over cloth masks because it can be dangerous if the costume masks makes it hard to breathe.
The WDH said that safe ways to celebrate the holidays without increasing the risk of spreading COVID include:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
- Decorating your home
- Making and decorating masks or making an altar for the deceased
- Visiting and decorating graves of loved ones with household members only and keeping more than 6 feet away from others who may be in the area
“To find more detailed fall celebration guidance from WDH, visit: https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-orders-and-guidance/,” the WDH adds. “For more information about COVID-19 in Wyoming, visit: https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/.“
This article originally appeared on Oil City News. Used with permission.
The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.