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As many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers guidelines for a safer Halloween this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following is a list of activities rated by the CDC by risk level.

Lower risk activities

• Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of the immediate household and displaying them

• Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends

• Decorating your living space

• 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 virtual Halloween costume contest

• Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with

• Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with the immediate household members in or around the home rather than going house to house

Moderate risk activities

• Participating in 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

• Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart

• Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

• Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart. 

• Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced and people are able to maintain social distancing

• Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart

In addition to the above listings of risk-related activities, the CDC offers the following things to keep in mind when out for Halloween for added safety.

 • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.

• 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.

• If screaming will likely occur, greater physical distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

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