Safer ways to celebrate the holidays during the pandemic

Sign in front of Cobb & Douglas Public Health on County Services Parkway in article about Cobb & Douglas Public Health hiring

Are you looking for safer alternatives to the traditional ways of celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving or other holidays in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Cobb & Douglas Public Health distributed the following press release with suggestions on how to have fun holidays while minimizing the risk in this time of spikes in COVID-19 cases:

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and we want to make sure that our communities are continuing to protect themselves.

While we know that many of you are beginning to plan activities starting with Halloween. It is important to be mindful of the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic and flu season.

The increase in COVID-19 cases in our district, as well as the surge in cases throughout the nation is especially concerning heading into the colder weatherand the holiday season.

Consider safe alternatives to the traditional ways of celebrating. COVID-19 can easily pass from person to person through close contact, and it is difficult to maintain a safe distance with high volume holiday activities (i.e. parities, haunted houses, and traditional trick or treating).

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities, it is important that family and friends should consider their local numbers and rates of COVID-19 cases when deciding to host or attend a holiday celebration.

Below are tips and alternatives recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Halloween Tips:

Halloween Tips

• Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
• Make trick or treating safer by setting up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
• Wash hands before handling treats.
• Make your cloth mask part of your costume.
• Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
• Parents carry hand sanitizer with you.

Halloween Alternatives

• Carve pumpkins with members of your household or outside with neighbors or friends.
• Walk from house to house, admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
• Visit a pumpkin patch or orchard. Remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer
frequently, especially after touching frequently touched surfaces, pumpkins, or apples.
• Go to a one-way, walk-through haunted forest or corn maze.

•Hold an outdoor costume parade or contest so everyone can show off their costumes.
* Host an outdoor Halloween movie night with friends or neighbors or an indoor movie night with your household members.

Thanksgiving/ Christmas Tips

• Do not host or participate in any festivities if you have been diagnosed, exposed to, or awaiting results from a COVID-19 viral test.
• Virtual or outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities.
• Limit number of attendees as much as possible.
• Provided updated information to your guests about any COVID-19 safety guidelines.
• Provide or encourage attendees to bring supplies to help you and others stay healthy. (i.e. extra masks, hand sanitizer, and tissues.)
• When traveling always wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public places.
• Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
• Avoid busy eating areas, such as restaurants during high volume mealtimes, if you plan to eat out at a restaurant.
• Make sure everyone washes their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after preparing, serving, and eating food.
• If serving any food, consider having one person serve all the food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.

Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) offers COVID-19 testing at Jim Miller Park and at the Douglas Public Health Center and at several pop-up locations throughout the district. For more information, please visit us at or call 770-514-2300.