Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wis. – This Halloween, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals are recommending parents take precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Although trick-or-treating is mostly an outdoor activity, there is still opportunity for close contact with neighbors,” said Marcia Danzinger, infection prevention registered nurse at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “It is important to remember that we are in the middle of a pandemic and we need to continue to wear a facemask, wash our hands and social distance.”
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends that if you are trick-or-treating it should be in small groups. Parents around the world have had to adjust for their children as the pandemic continues, but there are some fun alternatives to consider this Halloween:
- Create a scavenger hunt around your backyard using flashlights to find hidden candy and other goodies.
- Decorate an area in your house, turn on scary music, wear costumes and record a Halloween family greeting to share on social media or via text to friends and family.
- Have a movie night watching some of mom or dad’s favorite Halloween classics.
- Plan a special Halloween-themed meal with people who live with you.
- Host a virtual Halloween party to show off your costume and play virtual games.
Contact-less trick-or-treating is possible by creating individual treat bags and leaving them on a table on your front walkways, sidewalk or any outdoor space that allows for at least 6 feet of social distance from the door.
Costume and traffic safety are also important. According to the National Safety Council, Halloween brings about more risks for children than any other day of the year.
The organization recommends the following:
- Use flashlights, glow sticks, and reflective tape on costumes so you are visible in the dark.
- Stay on sidewalks, cross at designated intersections, and stay in well-lit areas.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be carried and used frequently.
- Candy collected during trick-or-treating should not be consumed until after handwashing. As always, a parent/guardian should check all candy to make sure it is wrapped and discard any unwrapped candy.
- Wear a cloth mask instead of plastic, latex or silicone. A costume mask, such as those worn for Halloween, is not a substitute for a face covering.
The best way to keep safe this holiday season is by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu. For more tips on how to celebrate the holidays safely, visit: CDC.gov
About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.
About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.