CDC: Stay at home this Halloween, trick-or-treaters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending trick-or-treaters stay at home this year

Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending trick-or-treaters stay at home this year, as many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading" the coronavirus.

Besides trick-or-treating, the CDC also identified trunk-or-treating, indoor costume parties, haunted houses, hayrides and tractor rides, and rural fall festivals as high-risk, COVID-19 activities.

Safer alternatives

Moderate-risk activities include one-way trick-or-treating in which individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while social distancing; small group, outdoor costume parades where people are more than 6 feet apart; outdoor costume parties where protective masks, not Halloween costume masks, are used; open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forests, and visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, not to mention wearing masks social distancing.

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Safe alternatives this Halloween, according to the agency, include household pumpkin carving and decorations; scavenger hunts where kids are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations from afar; virtual Halloween costume contests; and household Halloween movie nights.

Growing pandemic concerns

Many of the nation’s health experts are predicting the coronavirus pandemic will worsen in the coming months.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned Americans to “hunker down this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy.”

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Schools are reopening, as more college and professional sports leagues are making plans to allow limited numbers of fans to attend games. Colleges nationwide have become hot spots for the virus weeks after reopening. And when students return home, which health officials have urged against, they could transmit the disease to more communities.

The pandemic will also soon be stacked on top of flu season. In July, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said “the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we experienced in American public health.”

More info: CDC website

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