Here’s how to celebrate Halloween safely in San Antonio this year
This blog is updated every weekday. It includes the latest COVID-19 data from San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District, which is updated weekly on Wednesdays, as well as statewide reporting from The Texas Newsroom.
Halloween is coming up, and local health officials have announced guidance on how to celebrate safely.
“We know how much kids look forward to wearing fun and spooky costumes and going trick-or-treating on Halloween, and we also know that parents have questions whether it’s safe to do so this year because of COVID-19,” said Metro Health Director Claude A. Jacob in a press release.
The city advises that everyone who takes part in trick-or-treating this Halloween should mask up, regardless of whether they are vaccinated. Costume masks are not as effective as cloth or surgical masks, officials said. Metro Health provided a list of recommendations for those trick-or-treating and for those handing out candy.
For those trick-or-treating:
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Bring hand sanitizer and use it frequently.
- Limit the size of your group to those within your household.
- Avoid going inside other people’s homes.
- Only enjoy pre-packaged treats.
- Wash your hands when you return home if you go trick-or-treating.
For those passing out candy:
- Don’t hand out treats if you or someone in your household is sick.
- Everyone should wash their hands before passing out treats.
- Instead of handing out treats from a bowl, set up a table with individually wrapped bags of treats for kids to take.
- Disinfect the table periodically.
- When preparing treat bags, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after.
The city also provides alternatives to trick-or-treating, such as pumpkin carving and decorating, Halloween movie nights or celebrating with a piñata or “treat hunt” in your own backyard.
Overall, health officials recommend staying home if you’re not feeling well, limiting gatherings and hosting celebrations outdoors when possible.
“The best thing you can do to keep your family and friends safe from COVID is to get vaccinated today,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said in a press release. “Also, encourage your friends and family members to do the same, so that everyone can enjoy the holidays with the peace of mind knowing they are protected from COVID.”
The city’s Alamodome vaccination site is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 8 p.m. The county’s Wonderland of the Americas vaccination site is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Neither site requires appointments.
Find a list of pop-up clinics at covid19.sanantonio.gov or call 311 and select option 8.
Latest Bexar County updates
COVID-19 transmission in San Antonio is improving as fewer new cases and hospitalizations are reported. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said the area has seen a “100% downward trend” in cases since August.
“We’re clearly going the right path,” he said at the city’s Tuesday briefing. He added that the Regeneron infusion center at the Freeman Coliseum has seen a decline in daily antibody infusions as well.
Hospitalizations are at the lowest point they’ve been in 3 months, with 297 patients locally. About 85% of those patients are unvaccinated, officials reported Tuesday night.
There were 348 new cases reported on Wednesday, bringing the area’s total to more than 318,000 since March 2020. There were about 500 new daily cases on average at the beginning of the month, and that number has dropped to 268.
More than 4,736 community members have died from the virus, including 1 death reported Wednesday. View more dashboards & open data.
About 75.6% of the eligible population are fully vaccinated. More than 90% have received at least 1 dose.
FDA authorizes Moderna and J&J COVID vaccine boosters
The Food and Drug Administration authorized booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, NPR reports. The decision follows unanimous votes by a committee of independent advisers backing the boosters last week.
The authorization includes boosters that differ from the vaccine originally used to immunize people against COVID-19 — meaning that people can mix and match their vaccines and do not have to get a booster of their original regimen.
A study of the mix-and-match approach found no safety concerns using different vaccines as a boost, NPR reports.
Find the latest national and international updates on COVID-19 from NPR's live blog.
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