Jackson County Public Health reports 17 new COVID-19 cases as of 12:01 am on October 12, 2020. Through the quality assurance process, Jackson County Public Health reclassified 2 previously reported cases to suspect cases; these cases were removed from the total case count for Jackson County. These updates bring the total reported COVID-19 cases in Jackson County to 1,372. To access additional data on the total COVID-19 cases, visit the Situation in Jackson County, Oregon webpage, or the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard website.
The holidays are approaching, and with COVID-19 still spreading in our community, we will need to rethink how we get together with friends and family this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides considerations to help protect individuals, their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19 (CDC COVID-19 and Holiday Celebrations).
Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.
It is best to engage in lower-risk activities and limit or avoid activities that carry a higher risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19. During the fall celebrations, it remains critical that everyone wear a mask, maintain a physical distancing and limit close contact, wash your hands frequently, and get your flu vaccination.
Low-risk activities include:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
- Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house, admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
- Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house
Moderate risk activities:
- Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance
- Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6ft apart
- Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used, and people remain more than 6 ft apart (costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
- Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use in enforced, and people can remain more than 6 ft apart
- Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins r picking applies, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain physical distancing
- Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with family and friends that are local and can maintain physical distancing
High-risk activities include:
- Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
- Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
- Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
- Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19
- Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
- Going to hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
- Using alcohol and trust, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors
For more information on how to celebrate Halloween safely, visit the CDC COVID-19 Holiday Celebrations webpage.
For more information on COVID-19:
The public can call 211-information with general questions
OHA Emerging Respiratory Disease page: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus
CDC COVID-19 page: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
CDC Travel within the US: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html
Jackson County Health and Human Services: http://jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/COVID-19
Oregon COVID-19 Testing Location Finder: https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-19-testing