Police, health leaders around the Ozarks share safety tips ahead of Halloween

Published: Oct. 24, 2020 at 12:05 PM CDT
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(KY3) - We’re only one week away from Halloween! This year, it may look a little different in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leaders all around he Ozarks, including ones from the Branson Police Department and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, say a few extra steps can help you celebrate Halloween safely.

This year, Branson Police encourage alternative activities that are more low-risk for potential exposure of the virus, which include:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside while social distancing with neighbors or friends.
  • Virtual Halloween costume contest.
  • Outdoor movie night with the family.
  • Halloween scavenger hunt for children. Give them lists of Halloween-themed items to look for while they walk outdoors while admiring Halloween decorations.

Branson police say to consider these additional safety tips for those who go trick-or-treating:

  • Purchase flame-resistant costumes and make sure that masks do not obscure vision.
  • Make sure children are always visible by using flashlights, reflective material, and glow sticks.
  • Trick or treat as a family and only approach well-lit homes.
  • Only accept pre-packaged candy
  • Don’t assume motorists see you, they probably can’t.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department issued guidelines nearly one month ahead of Halloween.

When it comes to trick-or-treating, the health department recommends watching your distance this year by making sure there’s enough room between you and other groups when going door to door.

Health leaders also recommend only trick-or-treating with those who live in the household compared to large groups of friends. Contactless trick-or-treating is recommended to limit close contact. Rather than ringing a doorbell or having someone hand out candy, leave a bowl out or goody bags filled with candy that kids can just grab.

“You can stay outside,” Cara Erwin, Springfield-Greene County Health Department, says. “Set-up a chair six-feet away and say hello. Compliment them on their costumes and wear your mask and then you can celebrate that way. We just would prefer that you not actually be handing the kids the candy and coming within close distance of them.”

The health department is also recommending for people to wear masks, even though trick-or-treating is an outdoor event.

For a full list of Halloween safety tips from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, CLICK HERE.

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