In the final week remaining prior to Halloween, the City of Bristol, Tennessee reminds residents to exercise caution in planning their holiday activities to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 and other seasonal illnesses like the flu. As has always been the case, the City does not officially regulate trick-or-treating activities, and ultimately leaves the decision of how to celebrate this and other holidays up to individual households and neighborhoods. Nevertheless, families are strongly encouraged to adhere to the following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help protect the Bristol community from COVID-19:
Avoid high risk activities such as:
- Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door.
- Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
- Attending crowded costume parties held indoors.
- Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming.
Instead, consider celebrating with moderate to low risk activities like:
- 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 (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).
- Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than six feet apart.
- Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family or friends with people spaced at least six feet apart. If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household or outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends.
No matter how you celebrate, remember to always wear a cloth mask, stay at least six feet away from others who do not live with you, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially if handling candy or preparing treats for others. It is also recommended to make your cloth mask part of your costume, but a traditional costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. Costume masks should also not be worn over a cloth mask, as it can make breathing more difficult. For links to additional resources and ideas for how to safely celebrate Halloween this year, visit www.bristoltn.org/covid19.