FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2021
Heather Thomas, 425.508.4980
Tips for a Safer Halloween
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Many traditions and favorite pastimes have looked a bit different. Last October, we were still a couple months away from the COVID vaccines being available. Fast forward to today and we have 70 percent of Snohomish County residents 12 years and older fully vaccinated, with more choosing to get their vaccine each day. This means that with a few health and safety measures, trick-or-treating is a go!
However, our case and hospitalization rates remain high. Our ghosts and goblins under 11 are not yet able to get the vaccine, and we still have more than 170,000 eligible residents who are unvaccinated. This leaves many community members who do not have protection against the virus and are at increased risk.
In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, like Snohomish County, people two years and older should wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings and while attending outdoor activities where close contact with others is expected. This would include your fall favorites like festivals, pumpkin patches, trunk-or-treating events, zombie rides, and corn mazes.
If planning to go to a large event outdoors, please know that the statewide mask mandate requires that masks are worn at large outdoor events of 500 or more people. This includes all people five years and older, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.
For those going trick-or-treating, remember to:
- Keep your group small and stick to outdoor fun when around people you don’t live with.
- Maintain at least six feet from others and avoid scenarios where many people are concentrated in a central location.
- Wash hands before and after. Bring hand sanitizer along just in case.
- Wear a cloth face covering that fully covers the nose and mouth. Halloween masks are not a substitute.
- Stay home if you aren’t feeling well.
For those passing out candy:
- If you aren’t feeling well, skip the candy and stay inside.
- Wear a face covering that fully covers the nose and mouth, even if you’re vaccinated.
- Wear gloves, plastic baggies over hands or use tongs when handling candy.
- Avoid having people come to the door and/or ringing the doorbell. Sit in a chair in the driveway, garage, yard or porch.
- Do not use a communal candy bowl where people reach in for their candy. Instead, place candy in treat bags or spread out on a table or in the yard. Consider making a candy shoot, or place candy on small sticks planted in the grass.
- Use tape, signs or mini-pumpkins for directions and to keep kids six feet apart while waiting.
Consider alternatives, especially if immunocompromised or at higher risk of complications:
- Trick-or-treat inside your home by hiding candy for your kids to find.
- Have a spooky movie night with Halloween-themed treats.
- Have a virtual pumpkin carving and/or costume contest with other families.
- Decorate your yard and house with Halloween-themed items.
- Do some of the activities and “Healthy Halloween Countdown” offered by the Health District. They can be found online at www.snohd.org/558/Activities.
The Washington Poison Center also has some recommendations to keep the spooky fun safe:
- Be careful with glow sticks. The liquid in glow sticks is generally not toxic but can cause irritation if swallowed or splashed into the eyes. Never put glow sticks in the microwave.
- Use dry ice safely. Wear gloves and be careful when handling dry ice. Do not store dry ice in the freezer, and always use it in a well-ventilated area. Swallowing or touching dry ice can cause significant burns and injury
- Inspect all candy before eating for signs of tampering or compromised packaging. This includes tears, broken seals, pinholes, or discoloration. Do not use disinfectants or cleaning products on candy.
- Consume wisely. Alcohol does not mix well with anything, especially cannabis or prescription drugs. When consumed together, these substances can lead to severe health and safety issues.
- Safely store cannabis (marijuana) edibles away from all Halloween candy—out of sight, reach, and preferably locked up.
COVID TESTING and vaccine clinic SCHEDULE
The testing schedule for the week of October 18 is as follows:
- Everett site located at 3715 Oakes Avenue – Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Ash Way Park & Ride site at 16327 Ash Way in Lynnwood – open Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Appointments for testing at the District’s locations are required, and registration is available at www.snohd.org/testing.
The Ash Way Park & Ride location is a dual site, splitting operations to be a vaccine site two days a week and testing only for three days. It will be offering vaccines only on Wednesday, Oct. 20 and Thursday, Oct. 21. Vaccines offered will be primarily Pfizer. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will be available as supplies allow. First, second, third, and booster doses will be available. Appointments are required and are can be done online at www.snohd.org/drivethru
Those without internet access, needing language assistance, or requiring additional support in scheduling can reach the Health District’s call center at 425.339.5278 to schedule a testing or vaccine appointment. The call center is staffed 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Callers after hours or on weekends can leave a message, which will be returned on the next business day.