BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore city health officials are discouraging families from participating in traditional trick-or-treating or hosting Halloween parties.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa asked residents to help the city avoid a spike in COVID-19 cases by celebrating Halloween with health and safety in mind.

“Halloween is fast approaching, and by being safe and planning ahead, we can make sure that we get through the holiday season, without seeing a significant spike in New COVID-19 cases,” Dzirasa said.

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“There are two things I want everyone to remember this Halloween. First, traditional trick or treating indoor Halloween parties and indoor haunted houses are not advisable this year, and present an elevated risk of disease transmission,” she continued. “If you’re thinking about hosting, or attending an indoor party or a haunted house. Know that you are at risk of getting sick, or you’re at risk of jeopardizing the health of your loved ones. ”

She also reminded residents that wearing a costume mask does not count as wearing a face covering.

“We should not, we would not advise wearing both instead,” Dzirasa said. “Consider costumes that do not require decorative mask. So you can wear your normal face covering or decorate your protective face covering for Halloween.”

She instead said people should celebrate Halloween with pumpkin carving or decorating with family who live with you or a Halloween movie night. She also encouraged a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treating around your home or an open air Halloween parade.

“If you are planning on trick or treating or giving out candy this year, pre wrapped Halloween goodie bags are much safer than traditional face to face interactions,” she said. ” Be sure to keep hand sanitizers and tissues on you while you go out.”

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff

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