How to Stay Safe on Halloween During COVID-1910/27/2020 12:53PM ● By Rachel Miller
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS- The spooky season of Halloween is in full swing in Steamboat Springs – the devilish grins of jack-o’-lanterns glowing on front porches and spider webs, skeletons and tomb-stones decorating front lawns.
But what will October 31 look like this year in terms of witchy celebrations in the midst of a pandemic? With recent increases in infection rates, holidays during coronavirus may prove to be a tough potion to swallow.
Want to still create the fun, spook-tacular spirit of Halloween for the family but also remain safe in the era of COVID-19? What does that mean for the October traditions of trick-or-treating, haunted houses and costume parades? Routt County has clever ideas to safely partake in creepy, crawly activities this weekend, but public health guidelines still need to be followed and the Five Commitments of Containment should be practiced – wear a mask, wash your hands often, keep a social distance of six feet, get tested if you have symptoms and stay home if you are sick.
It’s 2020, so naturally it’s a year of adapting and change. The tradition of trick-or-treating door-to-door poses high risks in this day and age, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, staying within your own neighborhood and limiting group sizes will reduce risk drastically.
Bottomless candy bowls are going to have to take a back seat this year and it is perfectly okay to turn off your front lights and not participate. Routt County is suggesting neighborhoods set up a trick-or-treat table or station in their driveways/sidewalks. This allows trick-or-treaters to socially distance, eliminates crowding at front doors, and if you individually wrap goodie bags, it’ll probably be a candy-saver in the long run. Watch trick-or-treaters right from your front door, replenish the candy supply throughout the evening and have a fang-tastic night.
Neighborhood Costume Parades
It’s a part of everyone’s childhood – dressing up in different costumes, Halloween parades at school, trick-or-treating with family and friends and an endless supply of candy. Keeping the tradition alive for families and kids is important, so organizing a small, socially distanced neighborhood costume parade might just be the way to witch everyone a happy Halloween. Wear a mask, limit participation and let the kids have a ghoulishly great time.
Scary Movie Nights
Who doesn’t love a good horror film? Nothing gets those frightful shrieks going like Michael Myers and other traditional Halloween flicks. It might all be Hocus Pocus and not look like any other Halloween night before, but put on those costumes and haunt the house with movie thrillers.
Reminder: In Routt County, personal gatherings are limited to 10 people from no more than two separate households.
Adapting Other Holiday Traditions
Who says candy hunts and piñatas have to be limited to the Easter bunny and birthdays? Routt County is encouraging you to get creative this holiday season. Take a page out of the Easter playbook and stage a Halloween candy hunt with your kids right in the backyard. Or better yet, put on those costumes, hang up Halloween-themed piñatas and let the kids have a swing at them. If there’s one positive thing to come out of 2020, it’s that desperate times call for creative measures.
The Do’s and Don’ts
With the recent spike in cases within Routt County, the one thing advised this spooky season is to avoid indoor house parties. According to Routt County, “Recent case investigation data show that attending social gatherings and community exposures have become more common among new cases. This suggests people have relaxed their precautions and are interacting more closely with a greater number of households.”
If there is any advice to be taken from Routt County and the CDC, it’s to keep activities outdoors, follow the public heath guidelines and do your part to maintain the Five Commitments of Containment.