Halloween Mask-Wearing During Coronavirus Pandemic Comes With Health Risks
Planning to wear a mask during Halloween 2020 comes with new health risk warnings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
‘Halloween event organizers and attendees should consider the risk of spreading the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus based on event size and use of mitigation strategies,’ states the CDC’ Considerations for Events and Gatherings.
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.
On September 21, 2020, the CDC says during the COVID-19 Pandemic, 'everyone should wear a mask at all times when around people who don’t live in your household ... and avoid singing, chanting, or shouting, especially when not wearing a mask…. when within 6 feet of others.’
Furthermore, the CDC says 'Do not use a costume mask (such as for Halloween) as a substitute for a cloth mask unless it is made of 2+ layers of breathable fabric that covers your mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around your face.’
And, ‘Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.’
Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or eating is associated with directly spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is possible that a person can get the new coronavirus by touching a surface or object, including food, food packaging, or utensils that have the virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
However, this is not thought to be the main way that the virus is spread, which is related to respiratory exposures.
Remember, it is always important to follow good hygiene to reduce the risk of illness from common foodborne germs.
Furthermore, if you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters, suggests the CDC.
Additionally, holiday gatherings can contribute to the spread of other infectious, respiratory diseases, such as influenza.
Getting an annual flu vaccination is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health this season. And September and October are good times to get vaccinated, says the CDC.
However, flu vaccines are still useful any time during the flu season and can often be accessed into January or later during the flu season.
And, the CDC reminds everyone to not host or participate in any in-person festivities if you or anyone in your household:
- Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others
- Has symptoms of COVID-19
- Is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results
- May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
CoronavirusToday publishes COVID-19 pandemic news.