How to Trick or Treat and Vote Safely
Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, Allegheny County officials offer safety tips for Halloween and Election Day.
In their latest briefing on the pandemic, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen acknowledged the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise.
“There’s not a single or even a few sources,” Bogen says. “The virus is being spread throughout the county. It’s in most of our neighborhoods and municipalities.”
Bogen says her department has hired contact tracers and case investigators to keep up with the increased number of cases.
“The Allegheny County Health Department is ready, we’ve anticipated this increase in cases, and we spent the summer preparing,” Bogen says.
Despite the increase, Fitzgerald says residents will be able to safely show up at polling places to vote on Nov. 3.
“Over 100,000 people voted in the primary election, and I’m not aware of [COVID-19] cases resulting from that,” Fitzgerald says. “Poll workers will be wearing face masks for 13 hours. We can’t require voters to wear face masks but we strongly encourage it.”
Regarding Halloween, Bogen and Fitzgerald say outdoor activities are safer than indoor ones and everyone involved in trick-or-treating, including those handing out candy, should wear a mask. Read other Halloween safety tips here.
Bogen endorses a four-pronged strategy to “box-in” COVID-19.
- Testing widely
- Isolate all infected people until they are no longer contagious
- Find everyone in contact with a case and get them tested
- Quarantine all close contacts for 14 days and test
State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine reminds all Pennsylvanians to download the COVID Alert PA app to receive notifications when you’ve been in close contact with someone who later tests positive, or anonymously notifies other residents if you test positive.