Halloween Safety During COVID-19

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With the fall comes crisper temperatures but traditionally also a slew of fun activities to celebrate Halloween.  Haunted houses, costume contests and trick-or-treating are typically all the rage.  However, with a pandemic, medical experts caution people with a few tips for practicing Halloween safety, starting with a list of activities that pose a higher risk for participants.

What are some high-risk activities?

  • Door to door trick-or-treating
  • Trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Indoor haunted houses
  • Crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors

What are some lower-risk activities?

Most lower-risk activities focus on things you can do with your own household or virtually. The CDC suggests:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • 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
  • Virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Costumed car parades, keep a safe distance from others

What’s the bottom line/most important things to keep in mind?

Remember: it’s safest to celebrate with people who are in your own household, or to do things outdoors where a safe physical distance can be maintained from those outside your household.

Continue to wear a mask when you go out (not just a Halloween mask, but a cloth mask), wash your hands with soap and water and use hand sanitizer if soap and water isn’t available.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, DO NOT participate in any group festivities (including handing out candy to trick-or-treaters).

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

Here are some more Halloween Safety tips.