Getty Images, Peter Macdiarmid

The Wyoming Department of Health is urging people to plan safe events for Halloween and Dia de los Muertos [the Day of the Dead] this fall.

That's according to a Friday news release from the agency. The release quotes state health officers and epidemiologist Dr. Alexia Harrist:

Many of us look forward each year to the fun of Halloween, as well as to Día de los Muertos activities,” said Dr, Harrist. "While some adjustments are needed to help keep people safe this year due to the pandemic, there are still options available for enjoying these holidays.”

“Our primary recommendations for helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our everyday lives, such as appropriate physical distancing and the use of cloth face coverings, also apply to celebrations,” Harrist said. “And, of course, if you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in holiday activities.”

Some typical holiday events that are being discouraged because of safety concerns. Those include:

  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Attending large indoor celebrations with singing or chanting
  • Participating in other crowded indoor gatherings, events or dinner parties

But Harrist says kids can go trick-or-treating if some precautions are taken. Those include such things trick-or-treaters and their escorts remaining outside the homes that they visit and only staying for a few minutes at each stop. Similarly, she says, trunk-or-treat events can be made safer by having everyone remain outdoors, avoiding large groups, and moving through quickly.

The release also offers advice on costumes and masks:

  • Do not use costume masks as substitutes for cloth masks unless made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose without gaps around the face.
  • Do not wear costume masks over cloth masks because it can be dangerous if the costume masks makes it hard to breathe.

The release also suggests some alternative activities that should not pose an increased COVID-19 risk:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Decorating your home
  • Making and decorating masks or making an altar for the deceased
  • Visiting and decorating graves of loved ones with household members only and keeping more than 6 feet away from others who may be in the area
Enter your number to get our free mobile app