What You Need to Know-Week of October 19th

The most important weekly updates for you to keep your community healthy




In this Update:

1. Information You Need: How to safely vote in-person

2. Quick Question: When should you get your flu shot?

3. Pandemic Preparedness: COVID-19 risk and Traditional Halloween Activities




1. Information You Need: How to safely vote in-person



The deadline to register to vote or to request a mail in ballot is October 23rd at 5:00pm! Last week we discussed voting early by mail. For more information about the voting by mail option visit our previous update. If you do choose to vote in person, it is important to remember that this option will look different this year and there are additional safety precautions to consider before voting. Fortunately, to reduce COVID-19 risk, polling locations are implementing physical distancing and sanitation protocols and providing poll workers with personal protective equipment. Despite these safety precautions, it is still important to make a plan for how you will safely vote. The two types of in-person voting (voting early and voting on election day) are outlined in the table below.

In-person Voting OptionsVoting EarlyVoting on Election Day
Voting DatesBegins on October 7, 2020 and continues until election dayNovember 3, 2020
General InformationVoters have the option of voting prior to election day. This option is provided to ensure that everyone has the chance to cast their ballot.Voters arrive at their specified polling location and cast their votes on election day.
Risk levelVoting early in-person is a lower risk option compared to voting on election day. This is because the polls and voting locations are likely to be less crowded, which reduces the potential for COVID-19 exposure.On election day, voting locations have the potential to be more crowded. Luckily, many polling places are implementing sanitization precautions to reduce possible exposures.
Safety precautions to take1. Come prepared
Do research on who you will vote for prior to arriving at the polls. Reducing your time at a polling location will also reduce your COVID-19 risk.

2. Wash your hands & bring hand sanitizer
You should thoroughly wash your hands (or use a 70% alcohol based hand sanitizer) both BEFORE and AFTER you vote.

3. Wear a cloth face covering and maintain physical distancing
Follow CDC guidelines and be sure to keep 6 feet between you and others during the entire time you are at your polling location

4. Bring your own pen 
Bringing your own blue or black pen pen to the polling location reduces contact with objects while voting. 
Sharpies or other permanent markers are not allowed.

5. Bring a disinfecting wipe
Bring a disinfecting wipe and wipe down the surface where you will be resting your ballot before you start voting.
Discard it carefully in either a baggie you bring with you or a nearby trash can. 

6. Avoid touching your face
COVID-19 has the potential to be spread via contaminated surfaces. Although this mode of transmission is less likely compared to having close contact with an infected person, it is still important to avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
For more information about the different modes of transmission, visit our previous update.

7. Leave food or beverages at home
Eating or drinking while at a polling location is not sanitary and can increase the risk of COVID-19 due to potential contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
If you anticipate a long wait at the polling location, plan ahead to avoid eating while you wait!

8. Do not bring young mobile children with you to vote if at all possible. 
It will be harder to concentrate on voting and ensure children are safely distancing, wearing a cloth covering, and not touching possibly contaminated surfaces.
If you have no option, bring your children, it is incredibly important to vote but try to make other arrangements.
One option is a “voting buddy” who could watch children outside of the polling location while you take turns going in to vote; this could be a relative, partner, or friend.
Where to voteVisit this link to find your specific voting location for all counties in Arizona
For voting in Maricopa County, you can visit this link to find a voting location
For voting in Pima County, you can visit this link to find a voting location
What to bring with youA photo ID (e.g., Arizona driver’s license or valid United States federal, state, or local government-issued form of identification). For more detailed information, visit this link.
Your cloth face covering
70% alcohol based hand sanitizer
A disinfecting wipe
Your own pen (blue or black ink, no sharpies)
What NOT to bring with youUnnecessary personal items (e.g., bags)
Food and beverages
Anyone with you (e.g., children) who is not voting

To check the status of your ballot, visit this website. For any additional questions, please visit Arizona.vote or you can reach the Secretary of State’s office at 1-877-THE-VOTE.


2. Quick Question: When should you get your flu shot?



The answer is: as soon as you can! We are entering flu season in the midst of a pandemic, so it is more important than ever to get your flu shot. For detailed information about why getting a flu shot is so important, who should receive the shot, and where to get one, please visit our previous update. However, many people are still wondering when they should receive the flu shot. You should receive your flu shot as soon as possible!

  • More specifically, the CDC recommends receiving the flu shot by the end of October. However, if you are unable to get your shot by this recommended date, you should still receive a vaccine as soon as possible.
  • It is also important to remember that it takes roughly 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine to develop the antibodies that protect against the flu. So, you can still catch the flu in the 2 weeks after getting the shot. It is important to continue to take safety precautions such as washing your hands regularly, following physical distancing guidelines, and staying home. 
  • If you have a child between the ages of 6 months and 9 years of age that has never received a flu vaccine, you can consider getting them a booster 4 or more weeks after their first vaccination. This boosts their immunity to better fight an influenza infection during their first exposure.

For more information on flu vaccines, you can visit this link.

 


3. Pandemic Preparedness: COVID-19 risk and Traditional Halloween Activities


As Halloween approaches, it is important to consider the risk of COVID-19 spread that can occur with traditional Halloween activities (e.g., costumes, trick or treating, haunted houses, etc.). Use the table below to assess the risk level associated with typical Fall activities. By choosing a less risky activity to participate in this year, you could help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep your friends and family safe. Visit our previous update for safer alternatives to the traditional Halloween activities.

The table below is meant only to provide a guide to understand the level of risk associated with the mentioned activities within your pandemic pod. There are many factors to consider when evaluating the risk of a particular activity(e.g., how relaxed are individuals with COVID-19 safety precautions?). To thoroughly assess the risk of an activity, you will need to consider the people that you plan on socializing with and the level of precautions they are taking to keep themselves and others safe. For more guidance on assessing risk while interacting with others, see our earlier post on pandemic pods.Also, remember the recipe for a viral infection to evaluate the risk level of a situation: contact with an infected person + the amount of virus the infected person is releasing + the amount of time spent with the infected person. The more time you spend around an infected person, the more likely you are to become sick. For more information about components of the infection formula, visit our previous update.

Low Risk
(with members of your household)
Indoor activities:
Watching Halloween movies with members of your household, or with others via video calling (Zoom, Skype, Facetime, or other applications)
Carving pumpkins with members of your household
Creating “Halloween baskets” (instead of trick or treating) to either share with members of your household, or to drop off outside of friends’ and family’s households
Attending or hosting an online Halloween party (via video calling)
Decorating your home with members of your household for Fall or Halloween
Dress up in your halloween costumes at home with members of your household!

Outdoor activities:
Outdoor, physically-distanced get togethers with a small group (five or less) of people that you do not live with 
Trick or treating in a back or front yard (e.g., hiding candy around the yard similar to an Easter egg hunt) with members of your household
Some Risk (with your pandemic pod)Indoor activities:
In person, indoor get togethers with a small group (five or less) 

Outdoor activities:
Outdoor get togethers with a small group (five or less), without physical distancing
Visiting an uncrowded, outdoor pumpkin patch or fall festival where safety precautions are encouraged (e.g., mask wearing and physical distancing guidelines)
High Risk
(with people outside of your pandemic pod)

Indoor activities:
In person, indoor get togethers (without physical distancing or wearing cloth face coverings) with a large group (ten or more). For example, this could be to watch Halloween movies or to have a costume party
Attending an indoor, crowded haunted house

Outdoor activities:
Traditional trick or treating (going door to door to get candy)
Hay or tractor rides
CostumesIf you do decide to dress up this year remember:

Do not share costume masks or accessories with others.
Avoid trying on any costumes or costume masks at a store.
Be aware of handling items that others have touched. If you do come into contact with objects that others may have touched.
While in a halloween store, remember to wear your cloth face covering, follow physical distancing guidelines, avoid touching your face, always wash your hands or use a 70% alcohol based hand sanitizer after leaving.

 






The next update will cover information about pets and COVID-19. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to COVID-19 in Arizona, please complete next week’s AZCOVIDTXT survey that you will receive via text in about a week.

View Updates from Past Weeks:
Update from week of October 12th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of October 5th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of September 28th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of September 21th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of September 14th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of September 7th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of August 31st (English | Spanish)
Update from week of August 24th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of August 17th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of August 10th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of August 3rd (English | Spanish)
Update from week of July 27th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of July 20th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of July 13th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of July 6th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of June 29th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of June 22nd (English | Spanish)
Update from week of June 15th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of June 8th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of June 1st (English | Spanish)
Update from week of May 25th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of May 17th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of May 11th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of May 4th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of April 27th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of April 20th (English | Spanish)

 


 

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