ADPH recommends Halloween coronavirus precautions

Protecting families, friends and communities from contracting and spreading the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is a major concern for Alabama families in 2020. Consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, the Alabama Department of Public Health is encouraging families to find safe alternative activities to traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating this Halloween.

As has been the case since the coronavirus set in locally in March, quarantine guidelines take first precedence.

People who have COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with the virus should not participate in in-person Halloween activities. Anyone exposed to COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or who is showing symptoms, should remain at home.

People at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should also stay home.

According to the ADPH, children can enjoy limited trick-or-treating provided parents assess the risks of each activity, take precautions and carefully supervise. Adults need to emphasize the importance of consistent hand hygiene, proper mask wearing and social distancing where people can remain 6 feet apart or more. Avoiding large, crowded groups is important.

Although trick-or-treating can be a safe option with proper precautions in place, the ADPH is encouraging everyone to weigh the risks and consider alternative ways to celebrate.

The main indicator for limiting the risk of COVID-19 spread in the community is the number of days a county has a downward trend of new cases. Franklin County’s current risk level, which can be monitored on the ADPH COVID-19 Risk Indicator Dashboard at https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/, is “high,” with seven to 13 days of declining cases.

ADPH’s recommended Halloween activities are grouped according to the risk levels associated with each:

Higher Risk

·        Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating with shared candy bowls

·        Trunk-or-treating events

·        Crowded indoor events such as haunted houses and costume contests

Moderate Risk

·        No-touch trick-or-treating, such as candy chutes

·        Goodie bags placed outside for pickup

·        Outdoor, distanced costume parade

·        Outdoor, distanced movie night

Lower Risk

·        Pumpkin carving at home with family

·        Outdoor, distanced pumpkin carving with friends

·        Decorating at home

·        Outdoor scavenger hunt in neighborhood

·        Virtual costume contest

·        Movie night with family

Traditional injury prevention and health precautions for Halloween trick-or-treating hold true in 2020, as well. As always, responsible adult supervision is key with trick-or-treating. Safety measures to take beforehand, during and after trick-or-treating include the following:

·        Be sure costumes, wigs and accessories are flame-resistant.

·        Wear protective face coverings made up of two or more layers of breathable fabric instead of a costume mask. Face coverings can be decorated with themes, too.

·        Add reflective tape to costumes.

·        Do not wear decorative contact lenses; they can cause eye injuries.

·        Be careful to prevent accidental cuts when carving pumpkins.

·        Make sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles.

·        Never walk near lit candles or luminaries and avoid distraction from electronic devices.

·        Keep candle-lit Jack-o’-lanterns away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and curtains.

·        Prepare grab-and-go goodie bags for no touch pickup outside.

·        Consider providing non-food treats such as crayons and coloring books.

·        Examine treats for choking hazards before allowing them to be consumed.

·        Limit the amount of sugary and sticky candies consumed.

The ADPH recommends visiting https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/halloween.html for additional recommendations.

In Franklin County, community Halloween events include the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce’s Trunk or Treat Oct. 31 from 5-6 p.m. in downtown Russellville and Northwest-Shoals Community College’s drive-through trunk-or-treat event Oct. 26 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Franklin County

RPD, FCSO raise funds through softball game

Franklin County

Tharptown rocketry team blasts into first place in nation 

News

US-43 traffic lights in front of Walmart malfunctioning

News

Ivey announces $500,000 grant to improve Red Bay water lines

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Eric Reason

News

Community Spirit Bank welcomes new employee

News

Pilgrim’s sponsors Russellville Public Library summer reading program

Franklin County

First ‘Canada Phil’ visits Phil Campbell, adds sign to post

Features

National scholarship propels one Russellville student into Ivy League

Belgreen

Belgreen presents ‘Beauty and the Beast’

News

RCS Education Foundation holds annual banquet

Franklin County

Partnership Banquet highlights Franklin County accomplishments

News

50th Phil joins PC signpost

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Jerry Fancher

News

RHS ranks 21/386 for Alabama high schools in U.S. News & World Report

News

RHS FLBA students compete at state

Galleries

RMS students perform ‘Aladdin’

Franklin County

PHOTOS: NWSCC Phil Campbell campus presents ‘Shrek the Musical’

News

Russellville Main Street welcomes new executive director

News

BTCPA announces final production of season

News

Wynette Grammy finds home at Red Bay Museum

Franklin County

Northwest Shoals receives $1.3M to enhance rural healthcare education

Galleries

PHOTOS: RHS Musical Theatre presents ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Franklin County

Northwest Regional Library announces audiobooks by mail program

x