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COVID-19: Doctors in Santa Maria discuss how to celebrate Halloween safely during pandemic

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - As the coronavirus pandemic continues, doctors at Marian Regional Medical Center believe this year's Halloween will need to be different in order to prevent the spread of disease.

Choosing costumes, finding pumpkins and getting sweet treats - they’re all part of the Halloween tradition.

"I feel like kids have been through enough this year with no school, and I just hope they can have a fun Halloween," said parent Jessica Porhola of Santa Maria.

But this year, doctors at Marian Regional Medical Center are not recommending some activities due to the pandemic.

"Starting off with trick-or-treating. It's really going to be difficult if not impossible to trick-or-treat in any sort of traditional manner that we've done in the past. We certainly don't recommend small children or kids of any age to go up to individual households to receive candy from neighbors or other folks in the community," said Dr. Scott Robertson with Marian Regional Medical Center.

Indoor haunted houses with a group of people are also not recommended.

"This is certainly out of the question. You never want to be that close inside with a lot of people yelling or screaming or any of those types of activities during this type of pandemic," said Robertson.

For those who are trick-or-treating, doctors say costume masks typically aren’t the same kind of masks needed to limit the spread of coronavirus.

"I wouldn’t recommend that you wear a cloth mask underneath a costume, especially for small children, this could cause breathing difficulties. So a better opportunity would be to wear a themed cloth mask that would go with your costume," said Robertson.

Doctors hope people will follow all prevention measures as the holiday season kicks in.

"It’s important as we move forward into the next holiday season with Halloween starting here at the end of October that we continue our diligence and not relax," said Robertson.

Doctors say they didn’t see a surge in COVID-19 cases after Labor Day, and they’re hoping for the same after Halloween.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Patricia Martellotti

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