With Halloween just days away, many families are wondering how to enjoy the holiday safely amid a pandemic.
Health experts say it’s all about minimizing risk by forgoing some popular activities or tweaking them.
“I don’t think Halloween is going to look the same as it has in year’s past, but I don’t think the pandemic is a reason to give up on Halloween,” says pediatrician Dr. Jean Moorjani.
Dr. Moorjani suggests celebrating with members of your household and coming up with new traditions to celebrate.
“The safest thing is still to be home, keep your distance, avoid large crowds,” she says.
This year the Centers for Disease Control has issued new guidelines ranking the risks of popular Halloween activities, putting large indoor parties and indoor haunted houses right at the top.
Socially distanced costume parades and visits to pumpkin patches, with hand sanitizer, are considered medium risk.
Carving pumpkins with friends, outdoors and at a safe distance, or virtual costume contests are low risk.
“We just have to be really cognizant that there is still an pandemic going on,” Dr. Moorjani says.
As for trick-or-treating, traditional door-to-door or trunk-or-treat setups are considered higher risk.
Instead, try individually wrapped bags lined up at the edge of the driveway.
The CDC is also reminding people a Halloween mask is likely not a substitute for a cloth mask. It needs to have at least two layers of fabric and cover the nose and mouth without gaps.