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Halloween Safety 2020

It’s a full moon and a Saturday! Yay! And it’s in a pandemic! Boo! But don’t let that scare off your Halloween fun completely. There are ways to celebrate while still preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting your family.

  •  Remember the 3 W’s: wash your hands, wear your mask, watch your distance.
  •  Stick to small groups, preferably just family. Ask kids to stay as far away as possible from people outside your household and to wear their mask inside and outside.
  •  Do not use a costume mask as a substitute for a protective cloth mask unless it’s made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
  •  Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. This can be dangerous, making it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  •  If sick or exposed to the virus, stay home, isolate and do not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.
  •  Any gathering should follow CDC guidelines and be appropriate for the level of spread in the community.

Lower-Risk Activities

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins indoors with members of your household or outdoors, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends. Display for all to enjoy!
  • Decorating your house, apartment or living space.
  • Having a scavenger hunt in and around your house or throughout neighborhood while distancing.
  • Having a virtual costume contest or party.
  • Enjoying a movie night with people you live with.
  • Learning about other cultures’ celebrations, such as Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
  • Making a pinata and filling it with candy for your kids to swing at (maybe they’ll let you swing, too!).
  • Making and decorating spooky treats/sweets.

Moderate-Risk Activities

  • Participating 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 (such as at the end of a driveway or edge of a yard).
  • Going to an outdoor costume parade or party – small group.
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest or an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends. If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards.

Higher-Risk Activities – AVOID!

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

  • Traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door.
  • Trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in parking lots.
  • Crowded costume parties held indoors.
  • Indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming.
  • 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 fall festival outside your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.

Making Trick-or-Treating Safer

  • Establish ground rules ahead of time.
  • Don’t let kids dig around a candy bowl, touching multiple pieces. Ask them to choose one and stick with it.
  • Don't share or pass around props, toys, costumes or candy bowls. Ask each child to hold onto their own candy bag.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and practice not touching your face.
  • Take a break, do a check-in, and give kids hand sanitizer between multiple homes. This is an opportunity to remove masks with clean hands, in a safe spot away from others.
  • Put bowl out on sidewalk or end of porch or make individual goodie bags for trick-or-treaters to take. Stay on porch to see trick-or-treaters.
  • At the end of the night, disinfect any doorknobs, doorbells, buzzers or other high-touch surfaces outside your home.
  • Put most of the candy away for the first three days that it's in your home. Maybe buy some candy ahead of time while you allow time to pass.