MANY kids and families are eager to trick-or-treat this year – not only because it’s a fun tradition, but to have a sense of normalcy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
But are trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities safe right now? The Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) has weighed in on whether it’s a risky way to celebrate the spooky holiday.
What has the CDC said about Halloween in 2020?
In an advisory posted online on Monday, the federal health agency said: “Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses.”
They provided a list of lower, moderate, and higher risk activities during the pandemic.
How has the CDC suggested celebrating?
Officials suggested “alternative ways to participate in Halloween” that include carving pumpkins at home or outside in a safe way.
The CDC has also suggested Americans decorate their homes, partake in virtual costume contests, or Halloween movie nights with people you live with.
“Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance,” was also suggested.
What activities does the CDC consider a moderate risk?
Federal health officials have said that some activites include a “moderate” amount of risk.
Americans who are eager to trick-or-treat, despite COVID-19, can 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.”
Others can host a “small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade” where people are socially distanced.
Costume parties that are held can be held outdoors and with protective masks.
Families can go pumpkin or apple picking “where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples” and where mask-wearing is encouraged or enforced.
Higher risk activities include trick-or-treating door to door, large crowded costume parties, indoor haunted houses, crowded hayrides, or traveling to a fall festival that’s outside of your community.
What has the CDC said about halloween masks?
Officials warned on Monday that costume masks cannot replace a protective 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,” they advised.
What else did the CDC say?
The CDC also warned about similar risks for Día de los Muertos, which mainly include avoiding large gatherings with people outside of your household.
Officials also suggested that Thanksgiving be celebrated with those closest to you, with small gatherings or virtual dinner parties.
It’s also recommended the Black Friday shopping this year be done online, rather than in stores.
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