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Resource highlights from DHSS’s COVID-19 website

  • Social distancing
    Keeping physically distant – at least six feet – from non-household members is one of the most important ways to prevent COVID-19.
  • Keep your social circle small – very small!
    This is especially important for those who are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 but it’s good guidance for all Alaskans right now due to community transmission occurring throughout our state.
  • Stay home if you are sick
    Get tested if you feel sick at all. Stay home and isolate; don’t be around others if you are not feeling well.
  • DHSS Insights
    Read our blog posts for timely and interesting health and social services information including the trick-or-treating post featured in this email.

The challenge is on: Parents, this is the year to put a new spin on trick-or-treating

Should families avoid trick-or-treating during a pandemic?

For years, children have trick-or-treated by gathering in groups, going to a doorstep, ringing a doorbell and then receiving a treat from the person who answers the door. That kind of trick-or-treating isn’t recommended during a pandemic, Ohlsen said.

She recommends a new approach this year. The CDC recently published guidance on safer ways to celebrate Halloween and other holidays.

The lowest-risk way to celebrate Halloween is to dress up in costumes as a family and have a party at home with just your household. Carve pumpkins and roast the seeds, which happen to be a nutritious snack. Create a new tradition of making Halloween-themed foods and then sharing them while you watch a movie together. Or borrow a tradition from another holiday: Hide a few Halloween treats inside or outside the house and have your child find them — à la Easter egg hunting. Families nationwide are sharing ideas, like making the hunt even spookier by giving kids a flashlight to search for their treasures in the dark. More fun ideas, like scavenger hunts around your home and virtual costume contests, are found in the CDC holiday guidance.

Ohlsen says “It’s not a great year to ring a doorbell or hand out treats from your doorstep.” She offers these suggestions, Rigging a zipline from your doorstep to the end of your driveway, where a bucket drops a treat into a child’s bag. Or stringing up a fishing pole so you can dangle treats near kids, from at least 6 feet away using a treat clip instead of a hook, of course.