Keeping safe during Halloween while in a pandemic

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SHAVERTOWN, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Halloween can be a frighteningly good time, but this year the pandemic makes it scarier than it should.

It’s causing the medical community to call for a Halloween reset.

It’s pretty easy to tell the owner of this home is definitely in the Halloween spirit. But the word at a local doctor’s office because of the pandemic, this year more than any other Halloween we need to focus on safety as much as fun.

You can tell by the way nurse Cathy Neyhard is dressed at the Commonwealth Health office in Shavertown that she’s a fan of Halloween.

“When my children were young, I sewed all of my children’s costumes. Every year was a themed Halloween,” said Neyhard.

But this year, the Halloween theme is protecting yourself and others from the threat of COVID-19 which us easily spread through respiratory droplets and touch.

“One of the biggest things about trick-or-treating is that we’ll be ringing doorbells and also picking into candy jars and pumpkins to get candy so our children can be exposed to COVID-19,” said Nehal Aleemuddin, MD, Family Medicine, Commonwealth Health.

Instead, Dr. Nehal Aleemuddin is among physicians recommending one designated person at home be on the lookout for approaching trick-or-treaters, distribute the treats and do more than just wear a protective face mask.

“If you are handing out the candies basically you want to wash your hands yourself, you know, definitely and wearing gloves is a great idea The more protection, the better,” said Aleemuddin.

Neyhard and her brother came up with their own idea: tie candy bags to their chain link fence.

“So then the trick-or-treaters can then not only have to come into our yard or onto our porch but they can help themselves to a bag of Halloween candy,” said Neyhard.

Dr. Aleemuddin says you can get creative in your safety measures.

“Someone made a PVC pipe going down their porch and they’re dropping off Halloween candies into those little ramps,” said Dr. Aleemuddin.

If you’re planning a Halloween bash, Dr. Aleemuddin says do it during the day and outdoors because if it’s indoors and you’ve got quite a costumed crowd…

“That’s a breeding ground for this virus so that’s what we have to watch out for so try to limit your gatherings as best as possible,” said Dr. Aleemuddin.

For more information on CDC guidelines for having a safe Halloween, Click Here.

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