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Lincoln health director offers guidelines for celebrating Halloween safely
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Lincoln health director offers guidelines for celebrating Halloween safely

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Halloween may not be canceled this year, but trick-or-treating will look a little different.

Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director Pat Lopez outlined guidelines Friday for celebrating Halloween during the pandemic.

“We have had many calls about how to celebrate Halloween safely,” she said at the weekly COVID-19 briefing. “And that’s a great sign that most people want to keep this a safe and fun holiday.”

Lopez said to avoid large gatherings and indoor parties and stay home if sick. While out, wear a mask and social distance from others.

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Those trick-or-treating should limit their group to one or two households and eight people or fewer. She also said trick-or-treaters should only visit neighbors who have safety measures in place and should wait until they have returned home, inspected the candy and washed their hands to eat any candy.

For those handing out candy, Lopez said to wear a mask and not hand out candy if sick. She said to put candy into pre-packaged bags so children aren’t reaching into a candy bowl. She also encouraged people to get creative with ways to maintain distance while handing out candy, such as lining up treat bags on the porch or using a PVC pipe “candy chute” to hand out candy.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for Halloween list “one-way” trick-or-treating, where treats are set out for children to grab, as a moderate risk and traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating as a higher-risk activity. The CDC recommends lower-risk alternatives, such as having a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt at home or hosting a virtual costume contest.

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Reach the writer at lstephens@journalstar.com or 402-473-7241.

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Luna Stephens is a journalism student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who is originally from Lawrence, Kansas and is passionate about the transformative power of journalism.

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