Yakima Health officials are encouraging people to have a safe from COVID-19 Halloween. They warn that COVID-19 is still widespread throughout the community and "implementing public health recommendations when participating in Halloween activities is crucial to our community’s health and well-being."

Health officials say everyone needs to evaluate risk

They say people need to evaluate risk tolerance given the current community numbers as of October 21. Yakima County reports a case rate of 519 per 100,000 and a hospitalization rate of 6.2 per 100,000, which are high levels of COVID-19 activity according to the Yakima Health District.
So trick or treating and attending haunted houses increases the risk. A news release says "community members should remember that the more people who attend from multiple households that there will be less space in between people, less airflow may be an issue, fewer individuals might not be wearing masks, and fewer people may not be fully vaccinated which means there may be a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission."

The health district has some suggestions

For individuals who are giving out candy:
•Set up a station with individually bagged treats for others to take.
•Wash hands before handing treats.
•Wear a mask.

For individuals collecting candy:
•Wear a mask. Remember children younger than two years old should not wear a mask.
•Wash or sanitize hands frequently.
•Social distance from others at least six feet.
•Gather in small groups.For those attending

Halloween gatherings:
•Limit the amount of people from multiple households
•Gather outdoors or with windows and doors open
•Wear a mask when not eating or drinking

Some alternatives for those looking for safer activities

Health officials say if you feel the celebrations are to risky there are safer alternatives like  having a virtual/online costume party with family and friends or a Halloween-themed dinner at home. Also health officials say families can celebrate by having "Halloween yard decorations and a Halloween candy scavenger hunt at home."

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