“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the CDC said in a news release.
High on the list of those potentially dangerous activities was the one kids look forward to most: trick-or-treating. The CDC warned against both door-to-door trick-or-treating and walking from car-to-car in parking lot events known as trunk-or-treating, where candy is piled high inside a trunk.
Ditto for costume parties (although virtual costume parties were okay), indoor haunted houses and hayrides/tractor rides with people not in your household.
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Instead, the CDC suggested enjoying “lower-risk” activities, such as carving pumpkins with members of your household or doing so with others outdoors and at a safe distance. Decorating your home, walking to see other decorations from a safe distance, socially-distanced scavenger hunts and watching Halloween movies at home with those you live with were other suggested lower-risk activities.
While no low-risk activities involved the traditional candy-gathering, the agency said there was a “moderate-risk” activity called “one-way trick-or-treating.” That’s essentially leaving individually wrapped goodie bags in a grab-and-go location such as the end of a driveway. The CDC recommended washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after prepping the bags.
Small-group events and parties held outdoors with masks, including socially distanced costume parades, were also on the “moderate risk” list, although the agency warned that Halloween masks were no substitute for cloth masks. In addition, wearing a cloth mask under a costume mask could make it difficult to breathe.
“Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask,” the agency said.
Socially distanced outdoor events, such as visiting a haunted forest or pumpkin patch, also made the “moderate risk” list, as did watching outdoor horror movies with viewers sitting at least 6 feet apart.
“If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised,” the CDC said. “The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.”
See the full list of recommendations, as well as advice for Día de los Muertos and Thanksgiving, on the CDC’s website.
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