Health Dept. Reports Fourth Death In October

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The Montgomery County Health Department reported another coronavirus-related death on Friday, Oct. 15–the fourth this month and the 80th since the pandemic began.

For the period of Oct. 11-15, the health department reported 54 new COVID-19 cases for a local positivity rate of 5.8 percent.  On Friday the Illinois Department of Public Health reported a statewide 2.0 percent positivity rate for the period of Oct. 8-14.

On Thursday the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) issued updated Halloween guidance.

“Although we’re still in the pandemic, this Halloween and fall festivities season will look a little different than last year thanks to the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that are readily available,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “However, we must still take precautions as not everyone is vaccinated and a vaccine for children younger than 12 years is not yet available.  Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your friends and family, and your community, but it’s also important to use a layered approach by wearing a mask indoors and limiting/avoiding settings where physical distancing is not possible to help stop the spread of the virus.”

Masks are currently required in all indoor public locations in Illinois.  A costume mask is not a substitute for a well-fitting mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and wearing a costume mask over a face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is not recommended because it could make breathing more difficult.  Safer options include choosing a costume that does not come with a costume mask, or finding a costume that incorporates a face covering.

Trick-or-treating outdoors in small groups is best. Alternatives to door-to-door trick-or-treating can include setting up tables in a parking lot or other safe outdoor area where individually wrapped treats can be set out.

Open-air haunted houses are safer than an enclosed haunted house.  Masks are required to be worn in indoor haunted houses and the number of people should be limited to reduce crowding.

Large gatherings with more people increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission compared to small gatherings, and outdoor parties are safer than indoor parties.  If indoors, masks must be worn in public places.

Those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 should not participate in any Halloween or fall events.

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