By HANNAH SIEVERT
Central Oregon DAILY
Some well-known Central Oregon haunts are adjusting their Halloween plans this year to keep people safe.
Instead of its usual three-hour trick-or-treat event, the Old Mill will have a week-long Halloween event this year from Oct. 24 to 30.
There won’t be candy, but there will be socially-distant activities, according to Marketing Director Carrie Ramoz.
The ScareGrounds in Redmond cancelled its annual haunted attractions completely.
The Regency Village in Bend is hosting a drive-thru Halloween for families.
All the changes and precautions taking place this year are a good thing, according to health officials.
“Things like screaming, yelling, talking loudly that are often taking place during Halloween because of haunted houses or scary movies can actually lead to airborne transmission of the virus,” Dr. Jill Weatherhead, an assistant professor of tropical medicine and infectious diseases at Baylor, said.
The CDC said participating in traditional trick-or-treating, where kids go door-to-door, is a high risk activity during the pandemic.
They also discourage trick-or-treating events in parking lots out of the trunks of cars and indoor costume parties.
“It’s any activity where there’s large groups of people in close contact, without physical distancing, without facial coverings,” Dr. Weatherhead said.
Instead, the CDC recommends sticking to activities with people in your own household, such as carving pumpkins or taking part in a virtual costume contest.
If you do attend an event, it’s safest outside with people who are six feet apart and wearing a cloth mask, according to the CDC.
And a costume mask won’t cut it.
“A Halloween mask does not substitute for a traditional face covering,” Dr. Weatherhead said.