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COVID-safe Halloween celebration ideas from San Antonio doctor

KSAT Q&A with Dr. Ruth Berggren

SAN ANTONIO – As the holiday season approaches, many families are wondering about the safety of Halloween traditions like trick-or-treating, gatherings or haunted houses in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Ruth Berggren, an infectious disease doctor with UT Health’s Long School of Medicine, said in a KSAT Q&A, while the COVID-19 positivity rate has remained steady, moving from 6 percent to 6.4 percent in recent weeks, the precautions taken to get us this far are still important.

“You can’t stop the big three things of masking, washing and six-foot distancing. Whatever you do for Halloween, those things still have to be going on,” Berggren said.

So what can you do for Halloween? The American Academy of Pediatrics released a list of unique ways to keep the spirit alive without sacrificing safety.

Candy scavenger hunt: Similar to an Easter egg hunt, families can hide candy and spooky treats in the yard and let the kiddos have fun searching for it.

“I think the old traditional Halloween evening of clumps of kids going along and pressing doorbells, maybe with sticky fingers and then footing. And then the jar. That is probably not what we want to see happening,” Berggren said.

Outdoor costume parade: Berggren said since parades are something that can be done safely. It’s a chance for children to dress up, show off their costumes and see their neighbors or classmates from a distance.

Events at large fields or parking lots can take advantage the open space and draw circles to help control social distancing measures.

Spooky movie night: But make it virtual. If you are hoping to spend the holiday with friends and family, trying coordinating a virtual meetup where everyone watches the same movie. Or take the screening outdoors, set up a cozy outdoor theatre in the backyard which could be fun for the whole family.

Experts are promoting outdoor activities and warn against indoor activities like haunted houses and large parties.

For more ideas click here.

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