Clark County Beggar’s Night: ‘It’s certainly a possibility that it can be done safely,' health commissioner says

Clark County Combined Health District Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said that the health department is still looking into whether Beggar’s Night is a good idea and if it can be done safely- as the Ohio Department of Health has not given guidance to health officials yet.

“It’s certainly a possibility that it can be done safely," Patterson said.

He explained that most kids wear a masks for Halloween anyway, so “there’s no reason why we couldn’t incorporate a facial covering as well as a mask." Additionally, kids typically do not spend more than 15 minutes at a house within six feet, Patterson said.

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“Is it a great idea right now? It doesn’t make us feel warm and fuzzy," Patterson said. "People going door to door right now when we’ve all been staying to our own family units and doing a lot more home-time than we typically would.”

In Clark County, kids ages 0 to 19 contribute to 10 percent of the coronavirus cases. Adults ages 20 to 39 contribute to 42 percent of the cases, Patterson said.

He explained that if you assume that the majority of parents between 20 and 39 years old go with their children between 0 and 19 years old that is over 50 percent of the coronavirus cases in Clark County.

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“We’re talking about involving age groups that have had 50 percent of our cases in these activities - which makes this a more risky activity just because of the age groups involved," Patterson said.

The Clark County Combined Health District is hoping to get guidance from the state health department to make a decision about Beggar’s Night in accordance with surrounding counties.

“Time, distance and face coverings are those three messages that still ring true on any of these activities and anything else people may be contemplating doing this fall,” Patterson said.

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