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County encourages safer Halloween activities

Jackson County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control are encouraging residents to limit or avoid several traditional Halloween activities as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In a press release issued Monday, public health officials listed trick or treating, “trunk or treat” events, hayrides, indoor haunted houses and indoor costume parties as high-risk activities.

Ideas for alternative, low-risk activities include having a virtual Halloween costume contest, a Halloween movie night with people you live with, or a Halloween scavenger hunt, either around the home or where participants can keep their distance from others outside.

Other activities that are safer than the high-risk activities but still carry moderate risk include:

  • Trick or treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are prepared and lined up for children to grab and go
  • Having a small-group, outdoor costume parade in which participants wear masks and are spaced 6 feet apart.
  • A small outdoor costume party.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where attendees use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, and where mask wearing and physical distancing are enforced.

More information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween.

Jackson County reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 Monday and reclassified two previously diagnosed cases as “suspect” cases. The additions and adjustments increased the county’s running total to 1,372. Of that number, 192 are considered infectious. There have been 102 local hospitalizations and six deaths from the disease.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 222 new cases of the illness statewide but no new deaths. Oregon’s new case total has risen to 37,467, the death toll remaining at 599.