Halloween Precautions In Virginia As New Coronavirus Cases Double
VIRGINIA — Virginia health officials on Friday offered advice for Halloween activities in response to the coronavirus crisis, recommending that children not trick-or-treat in large groups or outside their own neighborhoods.
The Virginia Department of Health also recommended that towns and communities not hold haunted houses or large Halloween parties. To stay healthy and safe during Halloween, families should consider activities such as decorating homes, carving pumpkins with family members, or having a virtual Halloween costume contest.
“Halloween represents an exciting and fun time of the year for children and adults alike, but the current Halloween season may look different this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the VDH said Friday in a news release.
The state health department released guidance last month that ranked the risk level of certain Halloween activities.
Local jurisdictions in Northern Virginia, including Fairfax and Loudoun counties, have recommended against traditional trick-or-treating. Activities classified as higher-risk by the counties include trick-or-treating where children go door to door and collect candy.
“While Fairfax County cannot ‘cancel’ trick-or-treating, we do hope our residents will continue to prioritize safety just as we have all year,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said Thursday in a statement. “There are simple solutions to continue to enjoy the scares of the holiday — remember to wear a mask that matches your costume, social distance and have small Halloween activities outside.”
New Daily Coronavirus Cases Near 1K
On Friday, the VDH reported 966 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, more than double the 450 new cases that were reported Thursday. The new cases bring the cumulative case total in the state to 149,687.
State health officials also reported a cumulative total of 11,140 hospitalization since the start of the pandemic and 3,250 deaths.
The breakdown of new cases by region as of Friday is 291 in the southwest region, 219 in the central region, 164 in the eastern region, 146 in the northern region and 146 in the northwest region. The seven-day average of new cases across Virginia is now 751, compared to 1,012 a month ago on Sept. 2.
The positive average of PCR tests remains at 4.5 percent, below the 5 percent rate recommended by the World Health Organization before reopening. The total of PCR tests completed in Virginia stands at 2,094,361, up 20,125 from Thursday.
Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients stand at 890 statewide on Friday. The breakdown of hospital patients by region is 237 in the central region, 203 in the northern region, 180 in the eastern region, 176 in the southwest region, and 94 in the northwest region.
The current hospitalizations, as of Friday, include 201 in the intensive care units and 108 on ventilators, according to the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association. Ventilator use stands at 21 percent among all Virginia patients, and ICU occupancy remains at 78 percent. There are no hospitals reporting difficulty obtaining personal protective equipment in the next 72 hours.
Here are the latest coronavirus data updates for our coverage area between Thursday and Friday:
Alexandria: 3,873 cases, 326 hospitalizations, 69 deaths; increase of 14 cases and two hospitalizations
Arlington County: 4,009 cases, 503 hospitalizations, 151 deaths; increase of 12 cases, three hospitalizations and one death
Fairfax County: 21,064 cases, 2,169 hospitalizations, 590 deaths; increase of 46 cases, three hospitalizations and two deaths
Fairfax City: 137 cases, 14 hospitalizations, eight deaths; no changes
Falls Church: 71 cases, 13 hospitalizations, seven deaths; no changes
Loudoun County: 6,916 cases, 436 hospitalizations, 126 deaths; increase of 29 cases
Manassas: 1,930 cases, 130 hospitalizations, 24 deaths; removal of one case and two deaths
Manassas Park: 613 cases, 55 hospitalizations, eight deaths; no changes
Prince William County: 12,640 cases, 922 hospitalizations, 210 deaths; increase of 46 cases, three hospitalizations and three deaths
Fredericksburg: 549 cases, 49 hospitalizations, five deaths; no changes
Spotsylvania County: 2,170 cases, 136 hospitalizations, 46 deaths; increase of nine cases
Stafford County: 2,054 cases, 161 hospitalizations, 17 deaths; increase of 15 cases
This article originally appeared on the Fairfax City Patch