Many people are celebrating this year’s Halloween holiday at home as a family because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. If you and your family are still planning to trick or treat this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance to keep the family and neighbors safe.
“Traditional Halloween activities are fun, but some can increase the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 or influenza,” the CDC warned. “Plan alternate ways to participate in Halloween.”
To make trick-or-treating safer: avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters, give out treats outdoors, if possible, set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take, wash your hands before handling treats, and wear a mask or cloth face covering.
The CDC has also issued guidance on proper mask-wearing. Make your cloth mask part of your costume. A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask, the CDC says, because it can make breathing more difficult. Masks should also not be worn by children under the age of two or anyone who has trouble breathing.
Remember to always stay at least six feet away from others who do not live with you. Indoors and outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a long time.
Don’t let the excitement about the holiday distract you from proper COVID-19 procedures. Wash your hands. Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Parents should supervise young children using hand sanitizer. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.
Other suggestions for enjoying Halloween activities during the COVID-19 pandemic include: decorating and carving pumpkins, decorate your home for Halloween, and walking outside from house to house, admiring Halloween decorations at a distance. You could also visit an orchard, forest or corn maze. You can also go on to an outdoor Halloween-themed scavenger hunt. Visit a pumpkin patch or orchard.
Whatever you do or wherever you go, be sure to remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching frequently touched surfaces, pumpkins or apples.
The CDC also suggested that you can hide Halloween treats in and around your house and hold a Halloween treat hunt with household members. The CDC suggests holding an outdoor costume parade or contest so everyone can show off their costumes. Another suggestion is that you host an outdoor Halloween movie night with friends or neighbors or an indoor movie night with just your household members.