Halloween is back on as parents take precautions against COVID-19

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – After close to 20 months into the pandemic, health officials say Halloween is back on this year. 

Aside from the possible sugar rush, they say it’s important to still take certain safety precautions as we’re still feeling the frightening effects of COVID-19 among adults and children.

COVID-19 vaccine shots are available for people 12 and older and soon, parents will have the opportunity to add a layer of protection against the virus for their children ages 5 to 11.

In the meantime, the Government’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says children should “go out and enjoy Halloween this year.”

One mom who spoke with ABC4 says in 2020, her family only did outdoor activities, and she plans to do the same this year.

Alisa Van Langeveld is a professor at the University of Utah and a mother of four children most of which fall into the not eligible for a vaccine yet category.

Langeveld tells ABC4 “those kids will be outdoor trick or treating,  I’m not going to have them wear masks but we’ll be outside” she goes on to tell other parents that “the risk really never goes to zero so parents have to decide what the risk tolerance and risk management will look like.”

Health officials at Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health report Children ages 5 to 11 make up about 20 percent of recent COVID-19 cases

Dr. Andrew Pavia, Infectious Disease Physician at Primary Children’s Hospital says “if your indoors in a crowded space, kids need to be masked.”

And when it comes to going through Halloween candy, Langeveld says “I’m going to have my children use hand sanitizer and wash their hands so we’re operating with a clean slate;” However, according to Dr. Pavia sanitizing candy isn’t necessary.

Health officials do recommend those who plan to hand out candy to sit outside and to place individual pre-packaged treats for children to take.

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