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Connecticut Halloween Guidance from the CT Department of Public Health

Report by Paula Antolini, October 30, 2020, 5:51PM EDT

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) has issued some guidelines for Halloween activities.


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Connecticut Halloween Guidance

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic requires all of us to take steps to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe and healthy: wear our masks, wash our hands frequently, and maintain social distancing. As a result, we will need to celebrate many fall traditions differently this year, including Halloween. Traditional Halloween activities carry a high risk for spreading COVID-19, but we can reduce that risk significantly by organizing and participating in fun, lower or moderate risk alternatives. The holiday may look different this year, but the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) believes we can still enjoy a happy (and healthy) Halloween.

The CT DPH recommends that everyone planning to participate in Halloween activities this year review the guidance recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That guidance describes “lower” “moderate” and “higher” risk activities. DPH recommends that Connecticut residents avoid higher risk Halloween traditions and focus celebrations on the lower and moderate risk activities.

The ability to maintain social distancing and follow face covering rules is especially important when participating in Halloween activities. In addition, please refrain from leaving your home for any Halloween activity and do not pass out Halloween candy if you are ill or have traveled to one of the states listed on the Connecticut travel advisory between October 16th and October 30th (i.e. 14 days before Halloween). In this case you should be following the testing and self-quarantining guidelines, per Executive Order No. 9C. CDC guidance and safety tips are summarized below, along with additional considerations for restaurants and colleges and Universities.

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PARTIES AND EVENTS

Events to consider

–In lieu of in-person house parties, host virtual Halloween events, e.g. virtual costume contests.

–Host drive-by Halloween events, e.g. neighborhood or town-based house
decorating.

–Prepare candy scavenger hunts at homes with your household members.

–Have a Halloween movie night with the people in your household.

Events to avoid

–Large parties that exceed 25 people indoors or 150 people outdoors

–Hosting an indoor party that exceeds 25 people indoors or 150 people
outdoors can result in a fine of $500

–Attending a party that exceed attendance rules can result in a fine of
$250

–Large Halloween-themed parades where physical distancing cannot be
maintained.

–Indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming

–Hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household

–Traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go
door to door (See Trick or Treating tips below)

–Trunk-or-treat events where cars gather in a large parking lot and allow
children to move from car to car to collect candy.

Other guidance

–Restaurants that choose to host Halloween-themed events should strictly
adhere to capacity and physical distancing guidance as outlined in Sector
Rules.

–Colleges and universities should consider alternatives to on-campus
costume parties or trick-or-treating between dorms, as these activities will be challenging to maintain physical distancing.

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TRICK-OR-TREATING

Recommendations for Halloween 2020

–Traditional trick-or-treating is a high risk activity. Instead, the CDC and CT
DPH recommends participating in one-way trick-or-treating where goodie
bags or a large bowl of candy are placed outside of your home for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance.

–If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water
for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.

–For people who choose to hand out candy:

–Before you answer the door, make sure your face covering is in place over your nose and mouth, wash or sanitize your hands before answering door.

–Remain six feet from the Trick-or-Treater.

–Place the candy inside the child’s bag for them instead of having them take it from the bowl themselves.

–Homes providing candy may set up hand sanitizer stations outside or parents/guardians can pack a travel bottle of their own.

–Parents/guardians should limit the number of homes their children visit.

–It is not recommended to trick-or-treat with people outside of your household.

–Remain six feet away from people outside your household at all times.

–All trick-or-treating participants should wear a mask or face covering while outside at all times.

–A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth
or surgical mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made
of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and
nose and does not leave gaps around the face.

–Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth or surgical mask
because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to
breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

–Do not wear a costume rubber mask over another face covering of any
kind. be challenging to maintain physical distancing. Guidance for safe Halloween activities should be shared widely with on-and-off-campus students.