(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Health officials across the country are giving the greenlight for celebrating Halloween this year, saying it's a "low-risk" activity when it comes to COVID-19.
In 2020, health officials warned of the many possibilities and risks of spreading the virus. With the vaccine available, knocking door to door and passing out candy brings less risk in 2021..
Local health officials still warn of possible spreading of coronavirus among children who are not yet vaccinated.
"Because we don't have the children's vaccine available for those 11 and younger yet, children are still at risk, the same as last year," said Nancy King of the St. Joseph Health Department. "We still recommend the same type of layered strategies as last year."
Last year, King said Halloween was the turning point for positive covid cases in Buchanan County, drastically increasing 10 days after the holiday and causing the virus to spread into November and December.
“We hope we don’t see a repeat of last year," said King. "We just hope that this is not the calm before the storm and that we don’t see the increase like we did last year.”
Before Halloween, new positive covid cases averaged around 50 each day. After the 10-14 day period following October 31, daily cases jumped to more than 100 per day.
“The numbers are declining right now, so that’s a good sign," King added. “We (St. Joseph Health Department) hope that everyone is able to stay well and we don’t have that spike in cases like we did last year after Halloween and then going into the holidays.”
Here are a few tips to stay safe this year during Halloween:
- Children should wear a costume with a mask
- Trick-or-treat in small groups
- Wash hands or use sanitizer frequently
- Stay outdoors to pass out candy
- Place candy in children's bucket rather than children reaching into a bucket