Experts stress safety amid rise in COVID-19 cases as South Florida celebrates Halloween

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MIAMI (WSVN) - The rising number of COVID-19 cases has some in South Florida concerned about how to stay safe during Halloween.

In a matter of hours, Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood will be packed with people out celebrating Halloween, but with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, experts are urging safety.

“The more people, obviously, the more dangerous the situation because there could be a person who is an asymptomatic transmitter of the virus that you can come in contact with,” said Dr. Otto Ramos, a physician at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

On Friday, Florida reported close to 5,600 cases of COVID-19, with over 1,500 cases in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.

Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy has also announced he contracted the virus. He said he came down with the virus after he had dinner with a friend last week who had the virus but was asymptomatic.

Experts said small groups that can remain socially distant is the main key for safety.

That’s why South Florida cities like Miami Beach and Key Biscayne are changing plans for this year. On the beach, there will be no planned events on Lincoln Road, and in Key Biscayne, they are asking people not to trick or treat.

“What we are asking is that people not go out this year, that they not go house-to-house and that people do not entertain folks going house-to-house for Halloween,” Key Biscayne Mayor Michael Davey said.

As for the children hoping to trick or treat elsewhere, doctors suggest people think of fun and innovative ways with how they hand out and receive candy.

“Leaving candy at the end of your sidewalk, I’ve seen people trying to use fun ways to try and tube it down to them,” Dr. Kristen Englund, a physician at Cleveland Clinic, said.

If people do not feel safe going out, experts suggest they be creative with how they celebrate.

“Perhaps hosting a virtual costume party or finding a drive-thru trick or treat event in your neighborhood,” Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesperson Erika Benetiz said.

Other tips to slow the spread of the virus include bringing hand sanitizer, wearing a mask, keeping children under 2 years old at home and having an outdoor station with individually wrapped treats for children to take.

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