Today@Sam Article

Best Practices For A Safe And Happy Halloween

Oct. 21, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

IMG_5958The calendar continues to roll on in this “year of the new normal” - 2020. Now that we have reached October, many are wondering about how to safely participate in fall activities like Halloween. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created recommendations on holiday celebrations. They stress that, “these considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which holiday gatherings must comply. When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees.”

Today@Sam interviewed two members of the Sam Houston State University COVID Work Group, Erica Bumpurs, director of the Student Health Center, and Drew Miller, COVID work group chair, associate vice president for Student Affairs and executive director of Counseling and Health Services, for tips on how to safely enjoy the holiday:

T@S:  What are some best practices for the upcoming Halloween holiday?

Work Group: Social distancing is key. Consider keeping your celebrations smaller this year, holding outdoor activities, and limiting your groups to those you have already been in regular contact with (i.e. your bubble).

T@S: Traditional trick-or-treating is marked as a “high risk activity” by the CDC, as well as attending indoor costume parties, or going to indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming. What are some fun, but safe activities that you would recommend to students and parents this year instead?

Work Group: Host a virtual costume party or parade, Halloween scavenger hunt or outdoor scary movie night, socially distanced of course. For treats, pack individual treat bags so multiple hands are not reaching into a candy bowl and place them where the trick-or-treater can pick up the bags without person-to-person contact.

T@S: Should people wear masks even under costumes? 

Work Group: Yes. Costume-type masks will not meet either the fit or multiple layers requirements. Get creative. We recommend that your mask be part of your costume – think superheroes, villains or even a Bearkat! It is also important to make sure you wear your mask correctly (i.e. over mouth and nose). Good masks fit snug around the chin, bridge of nose and cheeks.

T@S: Are there any October/Halloween activities at SHSU?

Work Group: The university plans to hold its traditional holiday celebrations but with COVID precautions. This year, the LSC takeover on Oct. 28 is being held fully outdoors. Other activities will promote social distancing as well, including the upcoming President’s Fall Festival at Bowers Stadium on Oct. 29. Please check the official university calendar for a full list of events.

T@S: Are students required to self-quarantine upon return if they travel for the holidays?

Work Group: The CDC recommends quarantining for 14 days after travelling by common carrier such as a plane or public bus system. We encourage all students to have conversations with their instructors about how to comply with CDC and university protocols as well so as to successfully complete the fall semester.

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