MASON COUNTY — A few trick-or-treat dates have been set throughout Mason County in recent weeks and guidelines have been given to stay safe during holiday celebrations during the pandemic.
The Mason County Commission set the trick-or-treat date as Oct. 29 from 5-7 p.m. The City of Point Pleasant set their trick-or-treat for Oct. 29, as well, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Point Pleasant City Council canceled the city’s annual Halloween Block Party due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns with not being able to socially distance.
Jennifer Thomas, Mason County Health Department Administrator, suggests following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines on “holiday celebrations” when going trick-or-treating.
The CDC states that celebrating virtually or with members of your household have a low risk of spread of the coronavirus. In-person gathers have varying levels of risk, according to the guidelines.
The CDC guidelines state that the level of spread and cases in the community should be considered when planning to celebrate. Indoor gatherings generally have a higher risk than outdoor gatherings. Duration of the event also impacts the risk — longer gathers have more risk. Other factors that impact the risk include the number of people in attendance, the location attendees are traveling from and the behaviors of attendees prior to and during the event.
According to the CDC, during holiday celebrations, all attendees should practice social distancing, limit close contact and masks should be worn at all times when around people.
Halloween costume masks should not be used in place of cloth masks, according to the CDC, unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric. The recommendation also states to not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask, as it could be difficult to breathe.
The CDC lists traditional trick-or-treating — which includes handing treats to children who go door-to-door — as a high risk activity. A moderate risk trick-or-treating includes families participating in “one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance,” according to the CDC.
Lower risk activities suggested include carving pumpkins with household members or outside with friends while distanced; doing a Halloween scavenger hunt with your family; having a virtually costume contest; watching Halloween movies.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.