Joplin area health experts say it’s safe to trick or treat this year

NEWTON COUNTY, Mo.–Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top disease expert is giving kids the green light to break out the costumes and candy for Halloween this year. 

And local health experts in Southwest Missouri agree. 

“I was happy to hear that Dr. Fauci said that everybody can enjoy Halloween, the holiday’s coming up, and certainly in our part of Southwest Missouri out numbers now are at 45 active cases in newton county,” said Larry Bergner, administrator for the Newton County Health Department.

And Joplin residents are even more excited to know that Halloween can be enjoyed this year, safely. 

“We’re really excited to be back out here this year with a more normal event, we did have the event last year, very modified, so yeah it’s exciting to be back out here,” said Jessica Johnson, an organizer for the Old Fashioned Hayride in Joplin.

Donna stokes, Infection Disease Preventionist at Mercy Hospital says she agrees with Dr. Fauci

 “Fortunately for our community, we’re starting to see a trend downward in our number of covid cases, and it doesn’t mean that it’s gone, there’s still virus circulating, so for Halloween, it really is looking good for the kiddos to be able to get out and do some trick or treating this year and do it safely,” Stokes said.

With the virus still in the area as well as flu season approaching, Stokes still recommends taking proper safety measures. 

“Go out, do that trick or treating, enjoy Halloween this year, go in small groups, outside activities are great, inside activities you still wanna be cautious, not large groups, where you can social distance a bit, and obviously good hand hygiene,” Stokes said.

But health experts say we’re in a better place to enjoy Halloween and other upcoming holidays than we were last year.