Board of Health Recommendations for Safe Halloween Celebrations

Since Winthrop is currently designated as a high-risk community for COVID-19 transmission by the Mass. Department of Public Health, the Board of Health would like to remind Winthrop residents to use precautions such as wearing a face covering, avoiding large gatherings, practicing social distancing and frequently washing or sanitizing hands. Large gatherings and house parties are strongly discouraged and are subject to fines if they violate state gathering rules. Winthrop residents are also urged to follow the local Board of Health Emergency Orders to wear masks in public indoor spaces as well as on playgrounds, in public parks and when using athletic courts and fields, which are enforceable by a $500 maximum fine.

The Board of Health unanimously voted on October 16, 2020 not to ban Trick-or-Treat activities in Winthrop. However, residents are strongly encouraged to take the following safety precautions:

• Residents participating in Trick-or-Treat activities should offer contact-free individuallywrapped goodie bags or treats that can be placed at the end of a driveway or the edge of a yard for children to take. Candy bowls should be avoided.

• Those residents who do not wish to participate in Trick-or-Treat are asked to shut off their outdoor lights as an indicator.

• While no curfew is imposed, residents and their families are advised to end Trick-or-Treatactivities by 8 pm on October 31, 2020 and promptly return to their own homes.

Tips for a Safe and Healthy Halloween by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health should also be closely followed:

• A mask covering mouth and nose should be worn by all participants while engaging in

Trick-or-Treat activities, as described on the Mask Up MA webpage.

• Suggestions by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding face masks:

* Make your cloth mask part of your costume.

  * A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.

  * Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.

  * Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who hastrouble breathing

• Observe good hand hygiene, including hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. Carry hand sanitizer and use it frequently on yourself and your children, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy.

• Stay home and refrain from Halloween activities, including handing out Halloween treats, if:

  * you feel unwell;

  * you have tested positive for COVID-19;

  * you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19; or

  * you have traveled to or from a state that is not classified as lower risk within the last 14 days. For more information on lower risk states, please see the state’s COVID-19 Travel Order webpage.

• Refrain from touching your face.

• Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet of physical distance from all other participants who are not members of the same household.

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