Celebrating faith safely this holiday season

While we still need to take safety precautions to protect against COVID-19, the good news is that thanks to the protection offered by vaccinations, boosters and face masks, we are better able this year to safely participate in faith traditions. Here are some ways you can protect yourself and those around you.

The Oregon Health Authority offers these tips for safely worshipping.

People who are at high risk should consider these low-risk activities:

  • Attend online services.
  • Attend outdoor services, either with a mask or where it is possible to maintain safe distance from others.
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Prepare now for winter driving

We’ve already seen some snow in Malheur County, and now is the time to make sure your vehicle, and you, are ready to hit the road safely this winter.

Some tips:

Always check the weather for your route and use Tripcheck.com for road conditions. Keep a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. Suggested items include:

✔️ Phone charger, warm clothes, blankets

✔️ First aid kit, bottled water and non-perishable snacks

✔️ Jumper cables, flashlight with batteries, road flares

✔️ Ice scraper, shovel, tire chains if needed

✔️ Winterize your vehicle, keep a full tank of gas and a spare tire

✔️ Visit ready.gov/car for more tips

May be an image of car and text that says 'Do you have a vehicle emergency kit? Warm Clothes Snacks and Water Phone Charger Ice Scraper Flashlight with Batteries Blankets First Aid Kit Jumper Cables OREGION DEA OEM www.Ready.gov/car'

May be an image of car and text that says 'Ropa cálida ¿Tiene un equipo de emergencia para vehículos? Comida y agua Cargador de teléfono Raspador de hielo Linterna y pilas Mantas Kit de primeros auxilios Cables de arranque MILITARY BEA OEM ★ EMERGENCY www.Ready.gov/es/auto'

Let’s trick-or-treat safely!

The time for ghosts, goblins and sticky sweets is approaching faster than you can say “Boo!” OK, maybe not that fast, but it is time to start preparing for a safe Halloween.

This year, if you plan to trick-or-treat or hand out candy, please keep these tips in mind for a fun and healthy outing: 

  • Get everyone 12 and older vaccinated so they can start to build their immunity. 
  • Stay outdoors if you gather with people from another household.  
  • Keep six feet of distance from the zombie dragons and pirates you pass. Even with the best of intentions, it’s hard to predict whether a child will be able to maintain distance while trick-or-treating.  
  • Wear a proper face covering. A plastic costume mask is not a COVID-safe face covering. 
  • Remember it’s not safe to wear a costume mask over a face covering, but decorating a child’s face covering might bring an added touch of fun to their costume!  
  • Also remember it’s not safe for children younger than 2 to wear a mask.  
  • Pay attention when going door-to-door. If one house looks a bit crowded with fellow trick-or-treaters, try another house that isn’t as busy – you can always go back to that house later.
  • When trunk-or-treating:
    • consider arriving very early so you can be in front of the crowd when walking from trunk to trunk.
    • Leave space between your group and the group in front of you.
    • Allow the group in front of you to leave a trunk before you approach it. 
35,383 Trick Or Treat Illustrations & Clip Art - iStock

A few extra considerations:  

  • Choose practical shoes. Even little ones who ask to be carried on most days may suddenly find that they can’t walk a marathon on Halloween.  
  • Carry a flashlight or glowstick or put reflective tape on costumes to help other people and drivers spot little goblins and superheroes.  
  • Discard candy if the wrapper is torn.  
  • Bring along hand sanitizer to use when needed.  

A special note about the one in 13 children living with food allergies: The Teal Pumpkin Project helps make trick-or-treating safer and more inclusive by asking people to offer non-food trinkets and treats that are safe for everyone. You can participate by placing a teal pumpkin on your porch or front steps. Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) has more information about living with food allergies here

Lastly, a reminder to drivers. Please slow down and be alert! Kids are excited and may run into the street. It’s a good day to turn on your headlights early so trick-or-treaters can see you and you can spot them from farther away.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has more tips for safe trick-or-treating here.