City, state leaders: Enjoy Halloween but do it safely

City, state leaders: Enjoy Halloween but do it safely
With Halloween a little more than 2 weeks away, both the Arkansas Department of Health and Jonesboro city leaders advise families to enjoy the annual tradition safely. (Source: CDC)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - With Halloween a little more than 2 weeks away, both the Arkansas Department of Health and Jonesboro city leaders advise families to enjoy the annual tradition safely.

ADH guidance requires anyone who is sick or in quarantine to not participate in festivities or hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, according to a news release from Mayor Harold Perrin’s office.

“Halloween is a fun time,” Perrin said. “But we cannot forget the realities of COVID while we celebrate.”

The ADH offers these guidelines:

Masks

  • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth 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 doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
  • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

Treat guidance

  • Parents should limit the number of houses children visit
  • Only let children eat factory-wrapped candy that has been wiped off with a sanitary wipe

To limit the risk of exposure while still treating the kids, Dr. Shane Speights, Jonesboro’s medical director, suggests a “candy chute” made from a piece of PVC pipe.

“Anything that allows for social distancing while enjoying the holiday is a smart idea,” Speights said. “We’re still in a pandemic, so the same guidance we have had for months still applies.”

He added that indoor parties and gatherings pose a greater risk of becoming super-spreader events than actual trick-or-treating.

Police Chief Rick Elliott cautions that not everyone will be able to participate in doling out treats.

“If a home does not have a porch light on, please don’t knock on their door,” Elliott said. “There are a lot of people with conditions, actually many with active COVID cases, who would prefer to not be exposed to other people at this time.”

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