The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is encouraging Wyoming families to make plans for fall celebrations this year that accommodate COVID-19 concerns while also offering fun and meaningful activities.
“Many of us look forward each year to the fun of Halloween, as well as to Día de los Muertos activities,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH. “While some adjustments are needed to help keep people safe this year due to the pandemic, there are still options available for enjoying these holidays.”
“Our primary recommendations for helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our everyday lives, such as appropriate physical distancing and the use of cloth face coverings, also apply to celebrations,” Harrist said. “And, of course, if you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in holiday activities.”
Common ways of celebrating Halloween or Día de los Muertos that are high-risk and not recommended this year include:
Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
Attending large indoor celebrations with singing or chanting
Participating in other crowded indoor gatherings, events or dinner parties
Traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door remains an option this year in Wyoming. “If children and their family escorts remain outdoors without staying more than a few minutes at each home, and the people giving the treats do not invite them indoors, the risk associated with this activity can be lowered,” Harrist said.
“Trunk-or-treat events where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots can also be lower risk if everyone remains outdoors, avoids gathering in large groups and moves through quickly.”
Costume and mask-related advice includes:
Do not use costume masks as substitutes for cloth masks unless made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose without gaps around the face.
Do not wear costume masks over cloth masks because it can be dangerous if the costume masks makes it hard to breathe.
Other safe ways to celebrate Halloween or Día de los Muertos that do not increase risk of COVID-19 transmission include:
Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
Decorating your home
Making and decorating masks or making an altar for the deceased
Visiting and decorating graves of loved ones with household members only and keeping more than 6 feet away from others who may be in the area
To find more detailed fall celebration guidance from WDH, visit: https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-orders-and-guidance/.