CDC’s Halloween guidance discourages activities like trick-or-treating due to COVID-19

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 11:55 AM CDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging Americans to avoid higher-risk Halloween activities like trick-or-treating in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“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,” according to guidance posted Monday on the CDC’s website.

Other higher-risk Halloween activities, according to the CDC, are:

  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

CDC officials are encouraging lower-risk holiday activities, such as carving or decorating pumpkins with household members; decorating your house, apartment or living space; doing a Halloween scavenger hunt; or holding a virtual Halloween costume contest.

“The CDC’s guidance reinforces that Halloween is happening and provides inspiration for creative and safe approaches to celebrating the holiday throughout the month of October,” said John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, in a statement. “There’s no question that Halloween will look different this year, and innovative approaches endorsed by CDC like outdoor trick-or-treating can bring a little fun to the fall.”

For more holiday guidance from the CDC, click here.

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