Loudoun County offers COVID-19 prevention guidance for celebrating Halloween this year. Outdoor trick-or-treating: Yes; Indoor parties: No.
The signs of Halloween are all around us - pumpkins, decorations, costume pop-up shops and children asking if they can go trick-or-treating this year. If you’re planning to celebrate Halloween or other fall occasions, such as Dia de los Muertos, health officials advise that outdoor activities involving small groups, such as trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, are the safest. However, we all still need to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19.
“Any type of activity should be planned with the knowledge that all children under the age of 12 have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “I would discourage indoor parties, particularly if not everyone is vaccinated. Any parties involving children under age 12 or include individuals who are not vaccinated should be small and outdoors.”
Dr. Goodfriend recommends:
- Trick-or-treating outdoors in small groups or hosting a small outdoor gathering.
- Incorporating a face covering into a child’s costume (over the age of 2).
- If giving out candy, consider individual bags to hand out or a contactless option such as a candy chute.
- Washing your hands before going trick-or-treating or handing out candy. Hand sanitizer should be used while trick-or-treating or handing out candy when soap and water aren’t available.
- Maintaining physical distancing from people not in your household or who have not been vaccinated.
Flu Shot/COVID-19 Vaccine
Other ways to protect yourself and your family include getting a flu shot before Halloween. “We encourage everyone to get a flu shot as soon as possible because it takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to be fully effective. Unless told otherwise by your doctor, everyone 6 months and older should consider being vaccinated for the flu,” said Dr. Goodfriend.
Dr. Goodfriend also encourages everyone above the age of 12 who has not already received a COVID-19 vaccine to get vaccinated as soon as possible
COVID-19 and flu vaccines can be administered at the same time. Both are available at medical offices and pharmacies including, but not limited to, CVS, Giant Food, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Walgreens, Walmart and Wegmans. Visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccination site near you. For information about the county’s COVID-19 vaccination site, visit loudoun.gov/covid19vaccine. Flu vaccine is not available at the county site.
In addition to vaccination, to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the Health Department recommends everyone:
- Wear a mask in indoor public settings
- Stay 6 feet away from people who do not live in your household
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Wash your hands frequently
- Stay home when sick
- Avoid contact with sick people
- Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and remember to get tested if you’re symptomatic, or if potentially exposed to COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status.
Learn more about protecting yourself and your family on the Virginia Department of Health website.
Anyone with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line at 703-737-8300 or email the Health Department.
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