CDC, doctors suggest other ways to celebrate Halloween in pandemic

Having Halloween fun despite the pandemic

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Halloween is right around the corner and there are a lot of questions about how to celebrate safely. The CDC has issued new guidelines, and doctors are urging families to find alternative ways to take part.

“There are a lot of things about Halloween that would not go well with coronavirus, unfortunately,” said Dr. Erin DeLaney with UAB’s department of Family and Community Medicine. She agrees with the CDC labeling many Halloween activities as “high risk”.

“I’m not sure if people are going to hand out candy, if they’re going to answer the door or if there will just be a big bowl that everybody dumps into their bag the first stop they get,” said Amy Noon, a mother still trying to figure out how her family can celebrate safely. They will be among the 148 million Americans the National Retail Federation expects to participate in Halloween-related activities this year.

“You do need to wear a mask when you are out amongst people that are not in your own household. So I suspect if trick or treating is anything like it is in our neighborhood, that’s a lot of people. So you are probably at some point going to be within six feet of someone else. You know if you can, so wearing a mask is important,” Dr. DeLaney reminded Halloween costume masks are not protective, and wearing a protective mask along with a Halloween mask is not recommended. She even suggests re-thinking the trick or treating process.

“For people in homes that are giving out candy, the CDC has suggested that perhaps you can, you know, first wash your hands really well. Or use gloves to put candy in a separate bag. And then you can put those bags of candy out on your steps or on your driveway or just out a little bit further from your house or not so many people are coming up to your door,” Dr. DeLaney explained.

Dr. DeLaney and the CDC recommend finding other ways to celebrate, like outdoor pumpkin carving or other fun activities you can do outside. The CDC says anyone who has COVID-19, or has been exposed to someone who has it, should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick or treaters.

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