The CDC Released Guidelines for a Safer Halloween in Age of Covid-19


Now that summer is officially behind us, it’s time to start looking forward to (read: dreading) the events on our fall and winter calendars that will be ruined drastically altered by Covid-19. The first big hurdle will be Halloween, a holiday often celebrated with big parties and children visiting strangers’ property in order to collect food items. Needless to say, most of those traditional aspects of the Trick or Treating-based holiday may not jive very well with a not-over pandemic. 

With a lot of parents probably wondering what to do, they can now turn to some new guidelines from the CDC that outline high-risk activities that should probably be avoided, as well as some potential (less fun but safer) ways to replace them. 

Among the higher risk activities that should be avoided in order to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 are “traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door”. Instead, the CDC proposes an alternative of “one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance.” Though the strategy would seem to ignore how pretty much every child over the age of six behaves on Halloween when they see candy left unattended, it’s certainly a safe(r) alternative to physically handing off candy directly.

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Since large indoor gatherings are (or at least should be) a no-go, your planned costume contest might look a little different too. The CDC’s proposed alternatives include holding a “small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade” where participants are all six feet apart, or an outdoor costume party that encourages social distancing. They also make a point to note that your costume mask is NOT an acceptable substitute for a protective cloth mask. For this year, your best bet is to focus on a costume that doesn’t hinge on people seeing the bottom half of your face. 

Unfortunately, the CDC has yet to offer any guidelines on the efficacy of the candy chute, but it probably would be closer to the moderate than high risk level of activities. In the meantime, you can find a full list of the CDC’s recommendations and ideas for a lower-risk Halloween celebration here.


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