Illinois Department of Health issues new guidelines for Halloween and fall festivities – NBC Chicago

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With Halloween weeks away and the arrival of fall weather, the Illinois Department of Health released new guidelines on Friday on how to navigate during the holidays and fall festivities, including when you should wear masks and things to know for a ride or treatment.

This year the season “will be a little different,” said the state’s top doctor, citing readily available vaccines.

“While we are still in the pandemic, this Halloween and fall festivities season will be a little different from last year thanks to the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that are readily available,” Dr Ngozi said. Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. . “However, we still need to take precautions because not everyone is vaccinated and a vaccine for children under 12 is not yet available.”

Ezike said that while getting the vaccine is still the best way to protect yourself and others, she encouraged a “layered approach” that includes wearing masks indoors and avoiding or limiting yourself. find in environments where physical distancing is not possible.

Here are the department’s instructions:

MASKS

Illinois remains subject to a decree requiring masks in all indoor public places, but the health department has made it clear that a costume mask is “not a substitute for a properly fitted mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 “.

“Wearing a costume mask over a face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is not recommended because it could make breathing more difficult,” the department said. “The safest options include choosing a costume that doesn’t come with a costume mask, or looking for a costume that incorporates a face covering.”

CHARITY PLEASE

According to the guidelines, it is best to make candy outside in small groups, but if the outside is not an option, there are steps people can take to make the candy inside safer. .

  • Those handing out stuff or treats indoors should open doors and windows as much as possible to promote increased ventilation
  • Wear a mask
  • Anyone distributing or receiving treats should wash their hands

Door-to-door alternatives may include:

  • Set up tables in a parking lot or other safe outdoor space where individually wrapped treats can be placed
  • Host an outdoor costume parade for children with a parent / guardian

HANTED HOUSES, WOOD, WALKS

Outdoor haunted houses are safer than a closed haunted house, the IDPH said, adding that masks are still required in indoor haunted houses and the number of people should be limited to reduce overcrowding.

Other options include an outdoor haunted woodland tour or a haunted walk.

PUMPKIN PATCHES, ORCHARD TOURS, FALL FESTIVALS

The IDPH recommends that people visit pumpkin fields, orchards and festivals during off-peak hours, when they may not be so busy.

“You can also limit your exposure by staying away from crowded areas and wearing a mask,” the guide says.

HALLOWEEN HOLIDAYS AND SOCIAL GATHERINGS

“Large gatherings with more people increase the risk of transmitting COVID-19 compared to small gatherings, and outdoor parties are safer than indoor parties,” the IDPH said. “If indoors, the mask must be worn in public places, but can also be worn in private places where physical distancing is difficult. For indoor gatherings, try to increase the air flow. by opening doors and windows. ”

DÍA LOS MUERTOS

The IDPH recommends holding events and activities outdoors to honor loved ones who have passed away for Día de los Muertos, saying it is safer than indoors.

“If you congregate indoors, increase the airflow by opening the windows and try to physically get away as much as possible,” the department said. “Another option for celebrating and remembering deceased loved ones is to exchange traditional family recipes with family or neighbors that they can prepare at home.”

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

The IDPH reminded residents that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should not participate in any of the above events.

Chicago officials also previously issued guidelines for people participating in Halloween festivities, including candy or a spell, the last week of October.

Chicago’s Halloweek will take place Oct. 23-30, according to a statement from city officials, and involves nine major COVID-19 precautionary guidelines, including masks, tricks or treats in breakout, eating candy at home and more.

Chicagoans can download a sign from the city’s website to display in the window, informing people whether or not they’re attending Halloween this year.

“Starting October 23, we’re offering a week of candy activity celebrations and other activities that our kids and families can enjoy again,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “As we celebrate this holiday in a redesigned way, I want to remind everyone that this would not be possible without masking, social distancing and, most importantly, vaccinations.”


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