FORT WORTH, Texas - Still planning to go trick-or-treating or want to hand out Halloween candy this year? Tarrant County health officials say there are some things you can do to be safer.
Tarrant County Public Health released COVID-19 Halloween guidelines in hopes of minimizing the spread of the virus.
“Fighting the COVID-19 virus in an ongoing battle for everyone in Tarrant County. So it is important everyone do their part during holiday events, gatherings and celebrations to minimize the spread of the virus,” the guidelines state.
Most of the suggestions are familiar: wear a protective mask, celebrate outdoors and limit the number of people in a group.
If you are planning to pass out candy, TCPH asks that you consider placing treats on a table or porch step with a sign asking children to take only one. Other creative ideas are to hang treats on a wall or fence or deliver them using a “candy slide” made of PVC pipe.
When preparing goodie bags, you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use gloves when touching the treats.
The health department said people should not give out or accept any homemade treats. All candy should be factory-wrapped and then wiped down with sanitizing wipes before opened.
Parents should limit the number of houses their children visit this year and remind them to stay 6 feet away from other trick-or-treaters and the people passing out candy. That might mean you will have to hold out treat bags for smaller children.
Children should wear a cloth mask in addition to any costume masks and should use hand sanitizer regularly, especially before and after grabbing anything from a common treat bowl.
TCPH considers trick-or-treating and passing out treats medium-risk activities.
The safest alternatives include carving or decorating pumpkins, participating in a virtual costume contest, having a candy scavenger hunt at home, watching scary movies with family or driving through a haunted garage or Halloween-themed attraction.
Tarrant County residents are discouraged from attending large gatherings, indoor events and crowded parties, which the health department considers the riskiest activities.
Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19, has symptoms of the virus or who has had COVID-19 in the past 14 days should not participate in any in-person Halloween activities, TCPH advised.
For the full list of guidelines and safer Halloween activity alternatives, visit http://access.tarrantcounty.com/content/main/en/public-health/upcoming-events/enjoy-a-safe--healthy-holiday.html.