Halloween traditions taking COVID-19 precautions

Missouri

SPANISH LAKE, Mo. – Anyone who lives near Carolyn Tolbert Frey in the 12100 block of Valencia Avenue in Spanish Lake calls her “the Halloween Lady.” Her yard is filled with zombies, ghouls, and other decorations designed to give kids a scare. She’s also known for giving out large bags of candy on Halloween.

This year she will use a chute to drop the candy to kids and will require social distancing and face coverings.

“There is a difference between a Halloween mask and a face mask,” she said.

Health experts agree.

The CDC has released a set of guidelines for helping families understand their COVID-19 risk depending on certain holiday activities.

St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic School in south St Louis typically hosts an annual trunk-or-treat event as part of a fundraiser. The school switched gears this year and is holding a hunt where residents can pay $20 for treats to be hidden in their yard.

“This is a great alternative,” said eighth-grader Gavin Smith.

His father, Brian Smith said, “It’s going to make up for the money we’re losing from the trunk-or-treat.”

The St. Louis County Department of Public Health recognizes there’s COVID fatigue but insists hand washing, social distancing and wearing face coverings remain the best ways to stop the spread.

“Halloween is really just the beginning of a three-month-long stint past New Year’s where friends and families are usually together,” said St. Louis County DPH spokesperson Sara Daley. She said residents wanting to be tested for COVID-19 or wanting a flu shot can visit www.stlcorona.com for more information.

Some additional health department recommendations for Halloween face coverings include:

  • Make your cloth mask part of your costume
  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a mask
  • Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask if it makes breathing difficult
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing

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