LEONARDTOWN, MD (October 25, 2021) – Ongoing surveillance of local COVID-19 data by the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) continues to show high levels of community transmission of COVID-19. SMCHD strongly recommends that all community members (vaccinated and unvaccinated) continue to wear masks in indoor settings when with others outside their household and in outdoor group settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

“With the holiday season approaching fast, it is important that everyone in our community takes steps to protect themselves and others from COVID-19,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “If you’re eligible to get COVID vaccine or booster doses, please do so now. While enjoying the holidays, please take some additional measures to decrease your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 infection.” 

Tips for a Safer Halloween

  • Wear a well fitted mask in all indoor settings and in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained from people who do not live with you
    • Masks are recommended for everyone over age 2 
    • Costume masks with openings around the mouth and nose do not substitute for a mask for COVID-19 prevention – a well-fitted mask for COVID-19 prevention can be worn underneath most costume masks
  • Avoid poorly ventilated indoor public spaces
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, or others if you are sick
  • Please wash your hands before preparing Halloween treats or goodie bags
  • Avoid handling or distributing Halloween treats if you are feeling sick or may be a close contact of someone who has COVID-19
  • Instead of indoor Halloween get-togethers, consider alternative celebrations such as outdoor scavenger hunts, outdoor movie nights, and virtual Halloween costume contests 

 If someone in your family is feeling sick or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they should not participate in in-person Halloween activities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters. They should stay home unless seeking medical care or to get tested for COVID-19. Information on free community COVID-19 testing is located on the SMCHD website at smchd.org/covid-19-testing

For local COVID-19 updates, information, and data visit smchd.org/coronavirus or call the SMCHD COVID-19 Community Hotline at (301) 475-4330. 

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