Doctor’s advice: How to have a healthy Halloween amid COVID

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Halloween is upon us this Saturday, Oct. 31 and there are some key ways to make sure you and yours can enjoy a day full of of monsters and ghouls while limiting the spread of COVID-19, according to Dr. Ethan S. Wiener, division chief, pediatric emergency medicine at NYU Langone Health—Cobble Hill.

The basics

First and foremost, the health professional says that the spooky season calls for the same three main precautions government officials have been repeating for a while: wearing a mask, maintaining a minimum of six feet social distance, and keeping your hands clean with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

“[As] one of the main things that can be done to prevent exposures and contagion, this is the consistent message,” the Cobble Hill doc said.

If anyone in your house is experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath, Dr. Wiener recommends they contact their primary care physician.

Try to stay in or around your home

Preferably, Kings County kids should enjoy a night of horrors within their own bubble of people they live with, whether that be through activities like pumpkin carving, movies and music, decorating one’s home, or going on a scavenger hunt for treats.

“Get some of that candy, hide it around your apartment or house, or safe locations in the neighborhood for kids to find,” said Dr. Wiener. “It’s a safe way to providing some level of this experience while maintaining safety and distance.”


If you do plan to go outside for trick-or-treating or a socially-distanced parade, make sure everyone wears a proper cloth face coverings, not just a costume mask, said Dr. Wiener.

Guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also suggest not wearing a plastic mask on top of the cloth mask, because that could make it harder to breathe.

“Ideally we would recommend to try to incorporate the face mask we’re using into your costume, that’s probably your best bet,” Dr Wiener said.

While the traditional door-to-door treat collecting isn’t banned in the city, the medical professional said candy should only be offered individually wrapped or packaged, to avoid spreading the germ.

“What we’re really trying to avoid is having dozens and dozens of kids putting their hands in the same bowl and then bringing it back,” he said.

Indoors not advised

There are some indoor events still happening this year, but Dr. Wiener advised against going to those, as cases are rising again in the Five Boroughs.

“Indoor gatherings of a group of people not within the same family really is not advisable at this time,” he said. “What we really don’t want to do is have people congregating indoors, certainly not around a communal punch bowl or a big bowl of candy everybody is digging into.”

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