News Flash

DO 18 - Leg. Spencer - PR

Posted on: October 16, 2020

Don’t Let Halloween Turn into a Nightmare - Leg. Spencer Offers Safe & Scary Options for the Holiday

Leg Spencer Halloween

Centerport, NY-The Suffolk County Legislature’s Health Committee Chairperson William R. Spencer, M.D. got real about this year’s unique dangers posed by Halloween and how families can keep their loved ones COVID-19 free. With the virus still a risk, he hosted a press conference on October 15th in front of the Halloween decked out Mill Pond restaurant and offered a host of options on how to safely and smartly navigate the traditionally social and interactive holiday adored by children of all ages.

Legislator Spencer highlighted his “Lawn & House Halloween Decorating Contest” designed to bring Halloween cheer safely to residents. Participants in the contest will be included in a “Halloween Spirit Map” for families to venture out in their cars to view the creativity displayed by the contestants. The idea behind the map is to provide a fun alternative to trick or treating. 

“The key to successfully navigating the ongoing risks of COVID-19 has been to adapt to the circumstances. No one wants Halloween to be cancelled, but many want to protect the health and safety of their loved ones. The contest simultaneously captures the great spirit of Halloween with an adventurous and creative option while avoiding the concerns that may come with traditional activities,” stated Legislator Spencer.

In addition to discussing the contest- the Legislator provided the following of commons sense tips for families planning to go forth with trick or treating as well as tips for residents who will be giving out candy:

  • Always wear a mask: Masks for children, family members, and those passing out candy are non-negotiable!  If your child has a mask built into their costume, make sure they’re wearing an appropriate face covering to protect from the virus. Protective masks should cover your nose and mouth, fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, and allow for breathing without restriction.
  • Keep your distance: Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, avoid crowds, and limit the size of your group to people you live with.
  • Stay outdoors: The risk of spread is lower when outside, but remember to take precaution. Avoid large gatherings indoors. 
  • Limit the time you interact with others
  • Hygiene: Always wash your hands.  Instruct children not to touch their face, nose, mouth, and eyes. Most importantly… wash up before eating any candy!
  • Respect other peoples choices: If you see a home marked “No Trick-or-Treating” please keep your distance. That family could have someone who is at a higher risk if they contract COVID-19

Tips for those giving out candy: 

  • Come up with unique ways to deliver candy without contact:
    • Consider pre-packaged candy bags rather than a communal candy bowl
    • Some homeowners have set up socially distanced, decorated slides or shoots so they can deliver treats to kids without having face-to-face interaction.
    • Set up a table with candy laid out so children can pick up their treat without sticking their hands into a large bowl.
    • Hand out candy using tongs. 
  • Homeowners can also communicate their participation in no-contact trick-or-treating by placing a lawn sign outside or flyer on their mailbox/door.  

Families are encouraged to opt for alternatives to trick-or-treating: 

  • Corn mazes
  • Pumpkin/apple picking
  • Carving/decorating pumpkins
  • Spooky drive-in movies: the Suffolk County Vanderbilt is showing Halloween movies throughout the month. For information, go to https://www.vanderbiltmuseum.org/featured-events/
  • Host a candy scavenger hunt with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Legislator Spencer displayed a lawn sign designed by Malia Jones, the editor in chief of the Dear Pandemic Public Health Communications website, that can be used to call attention to protocols to follow while out and about on Halloween.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For information on how to enter the “Lawn & House Halloween Decorating Contest” or how to obtain a No-Contact Trick or Treat sign, please contact Legislator Spencer’s office at 631-854-4500.

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