Halloween is one of more exciting holidays on our calendars. Some of us have probably even started to decorate our front lawns with pumpkins and fake gravestones. But 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do things including the way we celebrate. Instead of big parties for birthdays or graduations we do drive by parades with everyone remaining in their decorated vehicles.
Instead of big indoor weddings and dinners we do small outdoor vows with witnesses limited to close family. We have altered our standards in life for the safety of others. So how should we alter the way we do Halloween in order to keep our neighborhoods safe? The best place to turn to for sound advice is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their website offers a list of things to consider before making plans. For example, - Community levels of COVID-19 - Location of the gathering - The Duration of the gathering - The amount of people at the gathering - Locations that attendees are traveling from - The behaviors of attendees prior to and during the event
People who should not attend in-person Halloween celebrations include, - People who have been exposed to COVID-19 - People who are at risk for severe illness The CDC also lays out our typical Halloween activities into three different levels of risk, lower, moderate, and high.
Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.
Steps to Take when Trick or Treating
- 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 hands before handling treats.
- Wear a mask.
- 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. It can make breathing more difficult.
- Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing
Stay at least 6 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.
- Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people.
- Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Parents: 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.
Steps To Take For Other Halloween Activities
Enjoy Halloween activities and take steps to protect yourself from getting or spreading COVID-19.
Decorate and carve pumpkins
- Decorate your home for Halloween.
- Carve pumpkins with members of your household or outside with neighbors or friends.
- Walk from house to house, admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
Visit an orchard, forest, or corn maze. Attend a scavenger hunt.
- Go on an outdoor Halloween-themed scavenger hunt.
- Visit a pumpkin patch or orchard. Remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching frequently touched surfaces, pumpkins, or apples.
- Go to a one-way, walk-through haunted forest or corn maze.
- Hide Halloween treats in and around your house. Hold a Halloween treat hunt with household members.
- Hold an outdoor costume parade or contest so everyone can show off their costumes.
- Host an outdoor Halloween movie night with friends or neighbors or an indoor movie night with your household members.