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Halloween during COVID-19: What is safe and what is not



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How to be safe this year during Halloween.

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For the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Halloween festivities – like most activities in 2020 – will look very different this year. While Halloween and the fall season come with fun and festive traditions such as trick-or-treat and haunted houses, it is important to remember that many (if not most) of these activities come with the risk of spread or agreement with coronavirus.

Given that Halloween is not completely interrupted (at least depending on where you live), you can still celebrate safely. But you have to be a little creative and flexible compared to what you may be used to.

Remember that the key to being safe and reducing risk means wearing a mask, avoid gathering with people who do not live with you, avoid indoor meetings and only participate in outdoor activities where social distancing easily maintained.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines with helpful tips to keep you safe this fall and Halloween. Continue reading below for which festive activities are considered higher risk and should be avoided and which are considered less risky according to the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Make sure you wear a proper face mask with your Halloween costume.

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High-risk activities to avoid this Halloween

The CDC cites the following activities as a higher risk of spreading COVID-19 and recommends avoiding them:

  • Participate in traditional trick-or-treat where sweets are distributed to children who go door to door
  • Participates in luggage-or-treatment, where sweets are distributed from trunks of parked cars
  • Attend costume parties held indoors
  • Go to an indoor haunted house where people can be crowded together and scream
  • To go on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Use of alcohol or drugs, which can obscure the assessment and increase risky behavior
  • Travel to an autumn festival in the countryside that does not exist in your community, especially if you live in an area with a large social spread of COVID-19

Traditional trick-or-treating is not recommended this year as it usually involves getting in close contact with others who may or may not be wearing a mask. For this reason, the CDC recommends a one-way trick-or-treat approach where treatment bags are omitted at the end of a driveway or yard. In this way, children can pick up sweets without coming into contact with people outside their households.

The CDC also recommends that parents wipe off any candy packages before giving them to their children to enjoy. Remember to check your state and local guidelines for Halloween activities, as some areas may restrict gatherings and activities beyond what the CDC has mentioned. In Los Angeles County, for example, gatherings and events of any kind are not allowed under a health order.

Lower risk Halloween activities

Even though regular trick-or-treat and Halloween parties indoors are off the table, there are still ways to get festive and have fun safely this year. You can make a virtual Halloween party over Zoomor watch a spooky movie with friends on Netflix party.

Some lower risk activities that the CDC recommends include:

  • To have a small group, outdoors, costume parade where people can keep a distance of six meters from others
  • Attend a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can stay more than six meters apart
  • Go to an outdoor, one-way, consistently haunted forest where appropriate worm use is enforced and people can stay more than six meters apart
  • If screaming is likely to occur, greater distancing is recommended. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus
  • Visit pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizers before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks are encouraged or enforced, and people can maintain social distance
  • Having a Halloween movie night outdoors with local family or friends, with people placed at least six feet apart
  • If screaming is likely to occur, greater distancing is recommended. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus

Finally, the CDC and the American Pediatrics Academy emphasize that Halloween costumes that cover the face should not be considered a proper face protection unless the cover contains several layers of fabric, breathe and cover the nose and mouth tightly. If you or your child wears a suit, you should also plan to wear a mask when you are near others. To avoid breathing problems, do not use a suit mask over a cloth mask.

Read more: Where to buy face masks for children

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goal.


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