Contact: Ginny Streeter, Communications, 360-810-1628
OLYMPIA – With Halloween and other holidays fast approaching, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) wants to remind people about ways to enjoy the holidays while still protecting themselves, their loved ones and their community from the spread of COVID-19.
Tips for a safer holiday season:
- Get vaccinated to protect yourself and others not yet eligible, such as young children, from COVID-19.
- Wear a cloth face covering or mask anytime you are with people from outside your household, whether indoors or outside.
- Make sure face coverings or masks fit snugly and cover your mouth and nose.
- Even those who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask when indoors or in crowded outdoor spaces.
- Avoid crowded or confined spaces. Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities. If you’re inside, make sure to have proper ventilation, and open doors and windows when possible.
- Watch distance and limit close contact with people outside of your household. Where possible stay six feet apart and keep closer contact brief, especially among people at high risk for severe COVID-19 or are not fully vaccinated.
- Wash or sanitize your hands (and the hands of little ones) often.
- Stay home if you are sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19. If you have symptoms or you’ve been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, get tested.
- If you are planning to travel visit the CDC’s travel page for up-to-date guidance on domestic and international travel and other travel recommendation. CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.
- To learn more about safer ways to celebrate the holidays visit the CDC’s holiday celebrations web page.
“We know that holiday traditions are important to children and families and there are ways that we can enjoy the holidays while reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19”, said Lacy Fehrenbach, Deputy Secretary for the COVID-19 Response. “By using these simple holiday safety tips, we all can have fun and connect with loved ones during holidays, while protecting the health and well-being of ourselves, our family and friends, and members of the communities where we live.”
If your Halloween plans include trick or treating, remember these simple safety tips.
- Stick with members of your own household and distance when in crowded indoor and outdoor spaces.
- Wear a cloth mask and remember: a plastic costume mask is not a suitable substitute.
- Wash your hands before and after trick-or-treating.
- Bring plenty of hand sanitizer.
If you give out treats:
- Limit candy to individually wrapped treat bags. This reduces the number of people who would typically touch items in a communal bowl.
- To avoid crowding, place treats on a table in your driveway or yard.
- Place a few mini pumpkins or other decorations 6 feet apart to signal a line and keep trick- or-treaters distanced while waiting for treats.
For more information on how you can enjoy the holiday season while minimizing the risk of COVID-19, visit the DOH tips for safer gatherings page. Also, remember to check in with your local health jurisdiction as they may have additional guidance or requirements for celebrating Halloween and other holidays safely this year.