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Halloween and COVID-19: Guidelines for Staying Safe While Celebrating Halloween This Year

September 30, 2020
Halloween and COVID-19: Guidelines for Staying Safe While Celebrating Halloween This Year - Lark Health

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Haunted houses, trick-or-treating, and Halloween parties should all be off-limits this year, according to CDC guidelines. They simply carry too much risk of spreading COVID-19 during this year of the pandemic.

Still, "different" can be "fun." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists activities as high, medium, and low risk. If you want to keep yourself and your family safe from COVID-19, it makes sense to stick with the low-risk activities. Believe it or not, they can still allow you to have a fun and spooky Halloween.

High-Risk Activities

These activities potentially involve a lot of contact with other people and therefore can lead to increased spread of COVID-19. The following are examples.

  • Traditional trick-or-treating, such as door-to-door in the neighborhood or in a shopping mall.
  • Trunk-or-treating in crowded parking lots.
  • Costume parties.
  • Haunted houses.

It may be more important this year than ever to avoid using alcohol or drugs that can lead to poor behavior choices and the risk of greater COVID-19 exposure.

Medium-Risk Activities

These activities can be done in a safe(r) manner, but they rely on everyone to do their part to keep safe. These are some medium-risk activities, and tips on how to reduce risk.

  • An outdoor movie night with people spaced more than 6 feet apart to allow for screaming, without sharing food between households, and with cloth face coverings.
  • Outdoor pumpkin patch with a one-way visit sequence, plenty of hand sanitizer, cloth face coverings, and a rule to stay 6 feet apart from others.
  • One-way trick-or-treating in which families stay at least 6 feet away from other families, candy or goody bags are the ends of driveways and people who pack the bags use hand sanitizer.

Low-Risk Activities

These choices involve being in close physical proximity only to members of your own household, so they are not considered risky compared to daily life. The CDC suggests:

  • Decorating the inside or outside of your home with Halloween decorations.
  • Carving and decorating pumpkins.
  • Watching a Halloween movie.
  • Taking a walk together to look at the Halloween decorations.
  • Having a virtual costume contest.

The Power of Staying Positive

It can be easy to feel sorry or get frustrated about Halloween being different this year. That is especially true if you have young children in your life and you worry about disappointing them. However, there is no need to feel such a burden. 

Kids not only tend to be incredibly resilient, but they also take their cues from the adults around them. If you stay positive and approach Halloween with excitement about the new activities you will try this year, chances are that they will be excited, too. Plus, you may find that acting positive can help you truly feel positive.

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