How to stay safe during fall festivities in pandemic

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DEXTER, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– Tuesday marks the first day of fall, and local farms have begun hosting fun activities for families.

Many people might be hesitant to go out though and do the things they would usually enjoy.

Dexter’s Produce set up a pumpkin patch for families, and plan to host socially distanced activities.

Owner of Dexter’s Produce, Jennifer Leese, says her small community does not have much to do this time of year. She felt her business needed to put something together for families to feel safe.

“We need more here in our little area, and especially in the times that we’re in,” Leese said. “That people don’t have to venture too far from their homes.”

Dexter’s plan is to add pumpkin tic tac toe, snacks, and other socially distanced games.

As we get closer to Halloween and fall festivities, the Center for Disease Control asks people to keep the pandemic in mind.

Dr. Katherine Duncan, the Director of Pediatric Advocacy at the Medical Center, Navicent Health, says families should consider their health status before doing any activities.

“If you have any caregivers over the age of 65, people on immune-suppressing drugs, or someone who already has a respiratory illness, you might want to take even more conservative precautions than our more generalized advice,” Dr. Duncan stated. “For families overall, you have these tiers of safety, so the safest activities would be things with the people already in your house.”

Melissa Brantley from the South Central Health District encourages everyone to remember safety first.

“Activities with your family can still be fun,” Brantley said. “Carving pumpkins, and enjoying Fall movies, still dressing up if you want to and doing things outside… all safe things and things you can embrace for the Fall.”

The festive fall area at Dexter’s Produce opens each day at 10 a.m.

CDC’s COVID-19 risk lists

The CDC released a list of safe festive activities and high-risk activities. Local medical professionals ask that families use the list to decide their activities this Fall.

Low Risk:

  • Carving, decorating, or displaying pumpkins in your own home
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with neighbors and friends while outside socially distanced
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt. Children have lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations from a distance.
  • Virtual costume contest
  • Halloween movie night at home

Mild Risk:

  • One-way trick-or-treating — individually wrapped goodie bags lined up for families to grab and go. Hands must be clean while making the goodie bags
  • Having a small, outdoor, socially distanced costume parade
  • Attending a costume party with social distancing and PPE masks. A costume mask (such as for Halloween) can not be substituted for a cloth mask
  • Going to a one-way, walk-through haunted forest with enforced mask use and social distancing
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards with hands sanitizer, enforced masks, and required social distancing.
  • An outdoor Halloween movie night with social distancing. If people will scream, consider masks.

High Risk:

  •  Traditional trick-or-treating
  • Trunk-or-treat
  • Attending indoor costume parties
  • Visiting an indoor haunted house where people with crowded gatherings and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people not in your household
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival outside your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.