The COVID-19 pandemic can claim another victim: traditional Halloween trick-or-treating.
According to guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the practice of going door-to-door asking for candy on Oct. 31 is a “higher-risk” activity that should be avoided.
Among the other higher-risk activities are crowded costume parties, indoor haunted houses and going on hayrides.
The CDC does offer some medium- and lower-risk alternatives.
For example, instead of handing out candy hand-to-hand, participate in “one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance.”
The CDC says small group costume parties held outdoors are medium risk, as would be visiting a pumpkin patch or a haunted forest.
However, if screaming will likely occur, “greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus, the CDC warns.
If you are going to have an outdoor costume party, the CDC warns, “A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.”
Among the lower-risk activities, the CDC recommends carving pumpkins with family members, decorating your home, having a virtual Halloween costume contest or having a Halloween movie night.