Halloween 2021: Here's how to celebrate safely amid the pandemic, according to health officials

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Sunday, October 31, 2021
Health officials: How to celebrate Halloween safely amid pandemic
Whether you're attending a party or taking your children trick-or-treating this Halloween, here are some tips from doctors on how to stay safe.

Costumes and candy are making a comeback this Halloween, and the Cofield family of Inglewood can't wait.

"This year, since things are starting to open up a little bit, we thought we'd get out and celebrate with the family," said Donald Cofield.

A new poll indicates Halloween participation is rebounding, and an industry trade group says people are spending at record levels.

"We got a Chucky costume," said Julena Cofield. "We got a Jason Vorhees mask and sword."

Sounds scary, but if you want your little goblins to be safe from COVID, health officials say you need to follow the "Three C's": Avoid closed spaces with poor airflow, crowded places -- even outside -- and close-contact settings where people will be talking and laughing near you.

"The streets and certain houses get very packed," Dr. John Rodarte. "So you kind of really are in close quarters. I would assume that if you're going to be in areas like that, wear a mask that is COVID safe.

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COVID-safe doesn't mean wearing your Halloween costume mask. Rodarte, a pediatrician, is referring to masks that keep respiratory droplets from floating about.

And don't wear a mask on top of a costume mask -- it will impair breathing. So be creative.

"You can still be a pirate with an interesting-looking facial mask or something like that," Rodarte said. "All kinds of creative masks out there that are still safe for COVID as well."

Even with a mask, some parents are still spooked about candy handling.

So Glen Kangas of Monrovia came up a solution -- a safe way to put the "trick" in "treating" -- a front-door-to-sidewalk candy chute.

"I had to figure out the angle in which the candy could go down," Kangas said. "We had to put the candy in Easter eggs to get them to roll down the tube, the chute. So i want the kids to be able to enjoy the holiday."

The candy chute is a huge draw in Kangas' neighborhood.

So if you're heading out for Halloween, remember: safety first. The data shows children are more than two times as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other night. Drive slow and make sure your kids can see and be seen.