Sept. 24 Yavapai County COVID-19 update; avoid these high-risk Halloween activities
Across Arizona, 1,705,003 Arizonans have been tested for COVID-19 with 215,852 positive results and 5,559 deaths, according to a Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) news release Thursday, Sept. 24.
Yavapai County has tested 41,824 residents with a total of 2,504 positive cases, 1,160 recovered, and 80 deaths.
YRMC West is caring for seven COVID-19 patients with no persons under investigation (PUI), the East campus has two COVID-19 patients and one PUI. Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood reports no COVID-19 hospitalizations and one PUI. The Prescott VA reports no COVID-19 patients or PUI.
LOW, MODERATE AND HIGH RISK HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES
Due to the pandemic, Halloween will be different this year, YCCHS said in the release. Many traditional ways of celebrating are now considerably more frightful than usual, because now they bring the risk of spreading the coronavirus. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in the holiday.
Some lower risk activity suggestions by the CDC are:
· Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them.
· Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends.
· Decorating your house, apartment, or living space.
· Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
· Having a virtual Halloween costume contest.
· Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with.
· Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.
Moderate risk activity suggestions are:
· Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).
· Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart.
· Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart.
· Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
· Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart - If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus:
· Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door.
· Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
· Attending crowded costume parties held indoors.
· Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming.
· Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.
· A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
· Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
FLU SHOTS AVAILABLE
The influenza vaccine is available at Yavapai County Community Health Services. The shot offers protection throughout the flu season. Even though influenza season usually peaks after New Year’s, it can begin earlier. Last influenza season, for example, hit earlier and harder than usual. Call 928-771-3122 to make a flu shot appointment at YCCHS. You can also visit the state's flu shot locator website, azhealth.gov/RollUpYourSleeve.
• Call 928-771-3122 to make a flu shot appointment at YCCHS
• County COVID-19 data, testing sites, school, business guidelines and resources: www.yavapai.us/chs
• Yavapai Emergency Phone Bank: 928-442-5103 – Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m
• Local mental health resources: #YavapaiStrongerTogether – https://justicementalhealth.com/resources-support/#covid19
• Arizona 2-1-1: A resource for all the time, not just during COVID-19: https://211arizona.org
• Information on influenza and flu shot locator, azhealth.gov/RollUpYourSleeve
Information provided by Yavapai County Community Health Services.