Halloween 2020: Low Risk Activities to Celebrate

Halloween 2020: Low Risk Activities to Celebrate

17 min reading time

How to celebrate Halloween in the middle of a pandemic?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its first guidance for Halloween, along with safer, alternative, fun ways to participate in Halloween during the coronavirus pandemic in a new posting on its website this week. 



When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees. Many traditional
Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. The CDC have suggested several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween this year.


Lower risk Halloween activities

  1. Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them.

  2. Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends.

  3. Decorating your house, apartment, or living space.

  4. 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.

  5. Having a virtual Halloween costume contest.

  6. Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with.

  7. Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.


Moderate risk Halloween activities

  1. Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped halloween candy or goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).

  2. If you are preparing halloween candy and goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the halloween candy or goodie bags.

  3. Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart.

  4. Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart.

  5. A costume mask (such as for Halloween) 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.

  6. Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

  7. Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

  8. If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

  9. Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing

  10. Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart.

  11. Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

Higher risk Halloween activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  1. Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where halloween candy is handed to children who go door to door.

  2. Having trunk-or-treat where halloween candy is handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.

  3. Attending crowded costume parties held indoors.

  4. Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming.

  5. Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.

  6. Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors.

  7. Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.


IMPORTANT: If you think you might have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who does, don't attend in-person Halloween activities — and certainly don't hand out halloween candy to trick-or-treaters.


Finally, the CDC maintains that it is vital that all Americans enjoy the holiday season responsibly. The agency also said its guidelines do not replace or superseded any local or state mandates.


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