DHEC Reminds South Carolinians to Celebrate Safely this Halloween
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 20, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Although Halloween may look different this year, there are still ways for South Carolinians to celebrate while avoiding the scare of being exposed to or spreading COVID-19. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) recommends outdoor, no-contact events that are low-risk for disease transmission.
Drive-through events, one-directional haunted trails, outdoor pumpkin patches and creative methods for handing out candy can be safe alternatives for celebrating.
“This isn’t the year for traditional trick-or-treating, haunted houses and costume parties,” said Dr. Michael Kacka, DHEC Physician and Chief Medical Officer. “COVID-19 continues to have a high prevalence across our state, and many traditional Halloween activities unfortunately are high-risk activities since they include close person-to-person contact and interaction with people outside of your household.”
To avoid a post-holiday spike in COVID-19 cases, which can result in an increase in hospitalizations and even deaths, DHEC asks residents to take Halloween celebrations seriously this year and remember that disease prevention methods don’t just protect you, they protect others in your community who may experience severe complications if they contract the virus.
DHEC recommends that anyone who’s regularly out in the community to get tested for COVID-19 at least once a month, and anyone who chooses to take part in a social activity like Halloween celebrations should get tested afterward and also monitor for symptoms.
“Testing for COVID-19 has never been easier or more accessible in South Carolina,” said Dr. Kacka. “There are 450 testing opportunities across the state, including more than 300 permanent sites and more than 130 mobile testing events, and results are provided in a matter of days. We encourage anyone who wants to get tested, to get tested, so they know their health status in regard to COVID-19, since asymptomatic people can and do spread the disease."