Halloween guidance given by state health officials

DOVER — The Delaware Division of Public Health is asking Delawareans to celebrate Halloween safely by maintaining 6 feet of social distance in public and wearing a mask due to the threat of COVID-19.

The DPH does not recommend traditional trick-or-treating this year, said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay.

Dr. Karyl Rattay

“But you can do trick-or-treating safely,” Dr. Rattay said. “I’m putting a table near the front door with bags of treats, so I’m not making direct contact with people, but still, they can come up, get treats and go on their way.”

The DPH issued guidance breaking down possible Halloween activities into three categories — low risk, medium risk and high risk.

Low risk entails activities inside one’s own household. Medium risk involves activities outside the home, while observing social distancing and face covering requirements. High risk means the greatest potential for exposure to COVID-19.

Low-risk activities include:
• Pumpkin carving.
• Home decoration.
• Virtual costume contests.
• Halloween hunts for candy.

Medium-risk activities are:
• Picking your own pumpkin.
• Trunk-or-treats with social distancing.
• Providing treats without direct contact.

High-risk activities are:
• Door-to-door trick-or-treating.
• Indoor activities with people outside the household, such as costume parties and haunted houses.

Dr. Rattay said the mask on a Halloween costume is not effective enough, encouraging Delawareans to wear their normal cotton masks under the costume, as well.

“We know Halloween may look a little different this year,” Dr. Rattay said. “But the important thing is everyone can stay safe. Make sure you’re following the guidance at all times … staying home if you’re sick, wash your hands as often as possible, use hand sanitizer even more frequently, always wear a face covering when you’re out of your home and always stay 6 feet apart, especially if you don’t have a face covering.”

Gov. John Carney’s office is hosting a virtual Halloween costume contest this weekend. Participants should share their Halloween costumes on social media with #SafeHalloweenDE through Saturday. Gov. Carney will share his favorites at @JohnCarneyDE on Facebook and Instagram.