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No one's stopping anyone in Medford from trick-or-treating

With the number of COVID-19 cases elevated in Jackson County, is Medford going to allow kids to trick-or-treat this Halloween?

— Jon, via email

No one will be holding trick-or-treaters back from collecting their sweet haul, and even health officials say they aren’t necessarily opposed to the tradition.

Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau confirmed that there are no laws on the books in Medford or Oregon related to trick-or-treating, and barring any pranksters’ “trick” antics, the police department won’t have any reason to put the brakes on Halloween.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention isn’t entirely against trick-or-treating during the pandemic. Health officials describe trick-or-treating as a “higher risk activity,” but there are steps costumed kids and families can take to participate in the activity safely.

For starters, health officials recommend parents and trick-or-treaters incorporate the kind of cloth face masks they’re already wearing at stores (it’s a great year to dress up as a doctor, nurse or other health care worker), avoid direct contact with other trick-or-treaters, maintain social distances of at least six feet from those who don’t live in the same household, and wash hands before handling treats.

Those giving out treats should wear a cloth mask and wash their hands before handling them, according to the CDC website. Health officials recommend distributing treats outdoors if possible — ideally setting up a station outside with individually bagged treats for children to pick up themselves.

Costume masks are not a substitute for cloth masks, according to the CDC, and officials say not to wear costume masks over protective cloth masks because it can make breathing difficult. The CDC advises against masks for children younger than 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing.

Public health officials recommend parents bring along hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and have kids apply sanitizer anytime they touch objects or other people. Children should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when they get home and before they eat any treats.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.