East Wenatchee, WA – The health officer for the Chelan-Douglas Health District urges families to skip the tradition of trick-or-treating this year and plan holiday activities closer to home.
It may be a hard message for some families to hear, but trick-or-treating during a pandemic is a bad idea, said Dr. Malcolm Butler, CDHD health officer.
“I know Halloween is a very exciting time, especially for our kids,” he said. “But I have to tell you, if I was an evil virus and I wanted to design the perfect holiday to make sure I could spread myself around the community, what I would do is encourage young people with a sweet tooth to go house to house, passing infection around.”
For the past three weeks, Douglas and Chelan counties have seen their case counts per 100,000 people rise weekly. On Sept. 30, the positive case count was at 114 per 100,000 people. This week, that number is 168 per 100,000 people.
Butler stressed that he would like to see families celebrating the holiday within their households, continuing to follow COVID-19 safety precautions, such as social distancing, wearing a cloth mask when outside the home and washing hands frequently.
“This Halloween needs to be a holiday that we stay home and focus on family,” Butler said.
The health district offers the following family friendly activities to safely celebrate Halloween:
• Visit a local pumpkin patch and bring a pumpkin home to carve. When outside your home, always wear a cloth mask and maintain social distancing, even in the outdoors.
• Put a new twist on trick-or-treating. Try a candy scavenger hunt in your yard, or fill up a pinata.
• Have a costume parade with your family.
• Throw a Halloween movie marathon. Settle in for the night with your holiday favorites.
Local communities also are organizing events in place of trick-or-treating. Candy drive-thrus are being organized in Wenatchee, Cashmere and Chelan. With the drive-thrus, families will be able to drive up to locations to receive individually bagged candy.
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