Celebrating Halloween During COVID-19: Events and Safety


Sydney Stam

(Graphic by Sydney Stam | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Allison Stuart, News Writer


Halloween is approaching and with that comes dressing up, parties, treats and spending time with family and friends. Emily Spivak, an infectious disease specialist at University of Utah Health, urges students to get vaccinated as holiday festivities coming up.

“There’s not enough time between now and Halloween to get fully vaccinated, but other holidays are coming right after, like Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Spivak said. “I would encourage everyone to get vaccinated. And so if people have not done that I would go ahead and make an appointment.” 

Spivak also urges those who are hosting parties to have them outdoors if possible.

“If you’re going to be close to people, I would strongly encourage masks be worn, windows be open, fans be turned on and try and limit gatherings to smaller numbers,” Spivak said.

Spivak said students should be mindful of people who choose to wear masks and respect their decision to do so. Additionally, she mentioned the virus is more likely to spread when eating and drinking, further proving the importance of masks.

“If you’re eating and drinking that should happen outside because people start to get excited and talk,” Spivak said. “And when you’re talking, eating, shouting — that’s considered high-risk transmission, as that’s when we start to expel the virus.”

One event that is happening this year is the Union after Dark event, hosted by the Union Programming Council. This is in place of the regularly scheduled Crimson Nights.

There are several attractions featured throughout the event, which takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 26, from 7 to 10 p.m. It will be held in the A. Ray Olpin Union Ballroom.

Kyra Hirasuna, the director of Crimson Nights and member of the Union Programming Council had a hand in planning this event.

So we’re gonna have a big haunted walkthrough, that the Freshman Ambassador Board puts on, as well as the First Year Council that’s part of ASUU,” Hirasuna said.

There will also be a pumpkin painting activity, and the UPC will provide pumpkins for students. 

Additionally, there is free food provided, according to Hirasuna, including “pizza, and some sweet treats like cookies and brownies, hot chocolate, coffee, and hot apple cider.”

The event is hosting Kim’s Cold-Blooded Creatures, which is a live show where attendees can hold and touch reptiles. There will be trainers nearby. There is a liability form to sign to make sure everyone who participates is safe.

There will be an ongoing costume contest. Hirasuna said there will be three winners and they will be giving out Amazon gift cards.

Masks are highly encouraged, but not required for Union after Dark.


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