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(October 21, 2021) – Halloween is right around the corner. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidance to keep people safe and healthy.
Locally, San Miguel County Public Health’s mask requirement in indoor public spaces is presently in effect through Monday, November 1 at 11:59 pm MST. The safest opportunities to gather for everybody, regardless of vaccination status, are the best opportunities for celebrating the holidays. Public Health encourages the following considerations:- Outdoor gatherings are generally safer than indoor gatherings. - Smaller groups are generally safer than larger groups. - Shorter duration gatherings are generally safer than longer gatherings. When thinking about activities for those who are presently ineligible for vaccination, most notably children under 12 years of age, Public Health encourages the safest choices while celebrating Halloween including:- Trick-or-treating outdoors in small groups. - Encourage children and the celebratory pod to wear masks.- Until a vaccine becomes available for younger children, the best thing parents can do to protect their kids is to get vaccinated themselves.- Gather with family and friends who have been vaccinated. If all other attendees are vaccinated, the risk to unvaccinated children is markedly lower. The best way to protect oneself and others from COVID transmission is to stay home when sick and get tested. The CDPHE and Public Health advise the following:- Avoid in-person celebrations if you:- Are sick, especially with COVID-19 symptoms. - Have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are currently in quarantine.- Have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently isolating.- People aged 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask in indoor public places no matter one’s vaccination status. - People with weakened immune systems may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated. For those who are immunocompromised, talk to a health care provider about getting an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as well as what precautions should be taken.“We are hopeful that we will head into the winter months with greater protection as booster doses are authorized and our children under the age of 12 become eligible for vaccination,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “For the holiday, work with your neighbors to keep this Halloween safe and fun for our kids. Gather outdoors, normalize mask wearing, increase ventilation for small indoor gatherings, get vaccinated and get your boosters when you are eligible. We want to celebrate and let our kids have fun while doing our best to keep them safe.”