South Orange Reports Increase In Teen COVID-19 Cases, Offers Halloween Guidance

South Orange reported that in the period from October 1 to October 19, the village recorded 21 new positive COVID-19 tests.

“Even more concerning is that last week, we recorded 5 teenagers who tested positive,” writes South Orange Village president Sheena Collum in a communication to residents. “Our Health Department continues to partner with our local schools to ensure families are being reminded on a consistent basis the importance of taking the proper public health precautions including but not limited to: face coverings, social distancing and hand hygiene. At this time, Seton Hall has reported 10 positive test cases on campus since fall reopening.”

Collum also shared guidance for Halloween.

“The Village strongly urges that families consider “fun alternatives” this year to minimize risk of exposure. From pumpkin decorating to coordinating with close neighbors/friends, there are so many ways we can make this fun for our kids,” said Collum.

FOR TRICK-OR-TREATERS

FACE COVERINGS – You will need to wear a face covering to help mitigate COVID-19 – so why not make it fun! Have your child select their own face covering and then decorate it together to match the costume. Costume masks are not an acceptable substitute but can be supplemented with a cloth or disposable mask. Children under two should not wear a cloth mask.

SOCIAL DISTANCING – When out trick-or-treating, travel only with your household members, consider staying local, and limit the number of houses on your route. Social distancing should be practiced between all who are not in the same household, and make interactions brief.

HYGIENE – Keep from transferring the virus by washing hands often, using hand sanitizer and waiting until your hands are clean before digging into the candy, and again before eating the candy. Also, don’t touch your face, or share costume props or food. Be sure to clean/disinfect high-touch surfaces. And, of course, if you feel sick or could be contagious, you must stay home and away from others.

FOR THOSE PUTTING OUT TREATS

BE READY FOR TRICK-OR-TREATERS – In an outdoor area such as a porch or driveway: set up a table to hand out candy using candy-grabber or tongs; make treat bags and hang them from streamers outside; or place a bowl of candy and bottle of hand sanitizer at the end of the driveway/walkway. Always wear a face covering around others and practice hand hygiene.

Good option: Limit interaction or contact with trick-or-treaters, wear a mask when individuals come to the door, and regularly wash hands.

Better option: Leave a treat bowl on a porch or table or in a place where it may be easily accessed while adhering to social distancing requirements.

Best option: Arrange individually packaged candy so that trick or treaters can grab and go without accessing a shared bowl.

For those who do not wish to have trick-or-treaters visit your homes, please keep your porch lights off.

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