How to stay safe while trick-or-treating during COVID
As Halloween 2020 inches nearer — perhaps one of the scariest years in a long time — towns, cities and states are trying to figure out how to safely celebrate.
In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont has yet to announce any official ruling, but he said he feels optimistic that the holiday can be celebrated in a safe way during the pandemic. “I was talking to (state Department of Social Services Commissioner) Deidre Gifford and I told her, ‘Halloween is outside and people are wearing masks, so it sounds like it ought to be doable,’”Lamont said. “And I think we'll get some guidance soon.”
Some guidance is here. On Sept. 21, the CDC released guidelines for what is considered to be high, medium and low-risk Halloween activity.
The CDC advises people to avoid the following activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:
Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating.
“Trunk-or-treat” where treats are handed out from the trunks of cars.
Crowded indoor costume parties.
Indoor haunted houses.
Hayrides with people you do not live with.
Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors.
Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.
Moderate risk Halloween activities:
'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 at the edge of a yard). If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.
A small outdoor costume parade.
A small outdoor costume party where masks are worn and distance is maintained.
An open-air haunted house, maze etc. where masks are worn and distance is maintained. If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
Visiting pumpkin patches or apple orchards while wearing a mask. Use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or apples.
An outdoor social-distanced Halloween movie night.
Low risk Halloween activities:
Carving or decorating pumpkins.
Decorating your home.
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.
Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.
A virtual Halloween costume contest.
A movie night with people in your home.
Halloween mask guidelines:
A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth or surgical facemask.
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.