GENERAL COVID UPDATE:
- COVID cases are rising significantly in King County, and fall is just beginning. We’re not at red alert yet, but it’s time to sound an early warning before our healthcare system gets overloaded:
- Last week, we hit a new peak for daily cases – 255 cases in one day.
- Our 7-day rolling average is highest since end of July
- People under age 40 represent 60% of new cases
- Cases are particularly high in south King County
- Hospitalizations and deaths remain low, but this could change
- We expect COVID to spread more readily in the colder months. To save lives, we must renew our commitment to COVID precautions: masks, physical distancing, avoiding crowded indoor spaces, limiting contacts outside your household.
What does Halloween mean to our Hispanic/LatinX neighbors?
Celebrating the Day of the Dead during COVID-19
y en español: https://publichealthinsider.com/espanol/espanol-spanish/celebrando-el-dia-de-muertos-durante-el-covid-19/
Halloween Tips from Public Health
- If you want to give out treats, understand the level of risk you’re willing to take. Packaged food is not considered a common source of coronavirus exposure, but it’s not without risk. If you put out a bowl of candy, a larger number of people will touch the bowl and candy. If you hand out candy out individually, fewer people touch the candy, but they come into closer contact with one another, especially if children line up outside the door. It’s close contact with others that creates the greater risk of COVID spread..
- Reduce risk in how you hand out treats. Options to reduce (but not eliminate) risk include:
- Use tape to mark waiting spots 6 feet apart on the way up to your door.
- Use fun ways to give the candy while staying 6 feet apart, like slide the candy down a wrapping paper tube into their trick-or-treat bags. Or individually wrap goodie bags and line them up for families to grab and go while staying social distanced (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).
- When you answer the door for trick-or-treaters, wear a mask.
- Wear masks that snugly covers the nose and mouth as part of the Halloween costume. Kids can decorate cloth face coverings with fabric markers or embellishments to go with their costumes! Avoid plastic masks with holes—commercial costume masks won’t provide the same level of protection unless they are made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that fit with no gaps around the face. Make sure kids wear their masks while trick-or-treating.
- Make sure children (and adults) stay at least six feet apart from others. If you can’t keep physical distance, it’s best to avoid activities like trick-or-treating or going to a crowded pumpkin patch.
- Wash your hands thoroughly when you get home. Carry hand sanitizer so that kids can wash their hands while trick-or-treating.
- Set aside any candy that comes from outside your household for 24 hours before allowing children to handle it. Reality check: we know that it’s too much to ask of kids to wait to eat their candy. You might purchase a small amount of candy in advance so that you can have candy on hand that your kids can eat immediately on Halloween.
If you would like to interview one of the many Public Health staff working on COVID-19, please let me know. If you have a specific language request, I am happy to assist you with that also.
Best wishes for a healthy and safe holiday season.
Communications support to Public Health-Seattle & King County during COVID-19 | Work cell/text 206-291-5003 – Email gets buried! Please txt if you need immediate help
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