North Carolina health officials advise caution for Halloween weekend

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- With COVID-19 metrics steadily increasing the last few weeks, Duke Health experts are calling on North Carolinians to remain vigilant this Halloween weekend.

Duke Health Physician Cam Wolfe took to Twitter, this week, to share data that shows a six-week upward trend at their health care system, urging people to avoid rallies, wear a mask, and avoid getting drunk.

"If you're getting together with people, in close contact, without masks on, particularly indoors, this is how it spreads," Dr. Charlene Wong, a Duke Health Pediatrician said.

The latest state numbers show an average of 31 deaths a day, recording 800 deaths in October alone. In addition to that, another metric seeing an uptick is daily case numbers. That same data shows us sitting at 2,355 daily cases, a six percent increase.
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With one day left in the month, North Carolina has thrice broken the record for most COVID-19 cases recorded in a single-day during October.

"It's unfortunate that we are seeing our numbers go up. This really means it's time to double down on prevention," Wong said.

Doctor Wong tells Eyewitness News that the inherently outdoor nature of trick or treating helps, but avoiding any close-contact is key. The pediatrician referenced some innovative candy delivery methods like the popular candy chute.

"Others include doing things like a Halloween costume parade so that kids and families get the chance to show others the hard work they've put into their costumes," Wong said.

With many adults looking to enjoy some festive parties this weekend, Doctor Wong states having small gatherings, with a pod of people you trust, is key to creating a safer environment. On top of that, the three W's would still apply.

"You all wear masks and wash hands, and when you're together, not standing so close together," Wong added.

Duke Health experts recommend holding your small gatherings outdoors as well. These are all methods that will need to become familiar for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season, in order to avoid major statewide spikes, according to Doctor Wong. "There are ways to get together more safely."

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