From bobbing for apples and sharing candy to attending costume contests, traditional Halloween will certainty look quite different, especially for your child. While these are fun and festive Halloween activities, they can also spread germs and increase your risk of potential coronavirus exposure. This year, we’ll have to approach the holiday differently and be extra mindful of washing our hands, wearing masks and social distancing. However, you and your family can still find creative ways to celebrate Halloween while at home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released their guidelines for celebrating Halloween safely. Their recommendations are outlined into lower, moderate and higher-risk categories and provide alternative options to traditional Halloween festivities. Check out their insights below:
Low-Risk Halloween Activities
- Pumpkin carving, decorating or watching Halloween-themed movies at home with loved ones
- Creating a Halloween scavenger hunt in your home instead of traditional trick-or-treating
- Holding a virtual costume contest
Moderate-Risk Halloween Activities
- Lining up individually wrapped treat bags at the end of your driveway or yard for trick-or-treaters
- Hosting a small outdoor costume parade in compliance with Illinois’ social distancing, mask-wearing and safety guidelines
- Visiting a pumpkin patch, orchard, or open forest where masks and social distancing are advised
High-Risk Halloween Activities
- Participating in traditional trick-or-treating, including “trunk-or-treats” via trunks of cars
- Attending crowded, indoor costume parties
- Visiting indoor haunted houses and going on hayrides with people outside of your family
The CDC also suggests if you have COVID-19 or suspect you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you shouldn’t engage in extended family or community Halloween celebrations or give candy to trick-or-treaters.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) further states if otherwise healthy individuals decide to hand out candy, an alternative option to traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating is to place individually wrapped treats, spaced out, on a table that is at least 6‑feet away from your door. You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before putting any candy on the table and refilling.
As for trick-or-treaters, only household members should go together, not mixed households. Be sure to always carry hand sanitizer with you, maintain a 6‑feet distance from others and don’t eat any candy until after cleaning your hands. Also keep in mind that a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. Costume masks also shouldn’t be worn over a cloth masks as they can make it harder to breathe.
If you or a family member aren’t feeling well, it’s best to stay home. Please visit our COVID-19 page for more information on the virus and its symptoms. You can also schedule an in-clinic or video visit with your primary care provider online.