Residents must follow indoor mask mandate, practice safety measures to limit risk of COVID-19 spread.
LARGO, MD –The Prince George’s County Health Department encourages residents to celebrate Halloween safely by adhering to the County’s public indoor mask mandate for individuals two and older, fully vaccinated or not, and by practicing COVID-19-related health and safety measures to limit the risk of spread.
“We have made tremendous progress fighting COVID-19 in Prince George’s County, but it is important to remember that many children remain unvaccinated,” said Prince George’s County Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Health, Human Services, and Education Dr. George L. Askew. “Outdoor Halloween activities are safer than indoor activities, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces, and anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been recently exposed should not participate in any in-person Halloween activities, including giving out candy.”
The Health Department recommends practicing these additional COVID-related Halloween safety tips:
- If you choose to trick-or-treat door-to-door, only do so with members of your household or a small group of close friends.
- Consider Halloween-themed cloth face coverings instead of costume masks. Costume masks have mouth and nose holes and when worn alone do not provide the same protection as face coverings. Do not share masks, fangs, or similar items.
- Bring hand sanitizer when trick-or-treating.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, as germs can spread that way.
- Candy should be given out using a scoop or tongs so the candy is not directly handled. Children should not reach into candy bowls or bags.
- Avoid indoor parties and party games like bobbing for apples or other activities that might involve sharing items that come into contact with other people’s mouths or noses.
- When returning home with treats, children should clean their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before eating anything.
“It is exciting that Prince George’s County families have the opportunity to safely participate in Halloween fun again, but we also need to stay vigilant because this pandemic is not over yet,” said Prince George’s County Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter. “Being careful while enjoying Halloween will allow for a safe and fun experience and help the County keep its COVID-19 numbers in good shape as we head into winter.”
Here are some ideas for alternatives to traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating:
- Pumpkin carving or decorating with members of your household, or outdoors with neighbors and friends
- Decorating the inside and outside of your home
- Indoor scavenger hunt for household members or outdoors for children walking from house to house admiring decorations
- Virtual Halloween costume contest
- Halloween movie night with household members or outdoors with a small group of close friends
- Halloween movie night outdoors with local family and friends
- Open-air, one-way haunted forest
- Visiting a pumpkin patch or orchard where hand sanitizer use is required before touching pumpkins or apples
For additional holiday gathering COVID-19 safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, please visit cdc.gov. For general Halloween safety guidance, visit the Health Department’s website.