CDC Discourages Traditional Halloween Celebrations Amid Pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a guideline that warns against door-to-door trick-or-treating, attending crowded parties, and more.


Image via Getty/Robert Nickelsberg


The global pandemic has made Halloween especially scary this year.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines on how to celebrate the holiday in a fun and safe manner. The CDC divided the suggestions into three categories: "lower risk activities," "moderate risk activities," and "higher risk activities." The latter underscores the importance of social distancing, as it urges the public to avoid celebrations that involve large crowds or interaction with those outside of one's household. 

Among the "higher risk activities" are traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, crowded in-door costume parties, and alcohol or drug consumption, as they "can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors."

"Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses," the agency wrote. "There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters."

The CDC also discourages the public from using Halloween masks as a replacement for a face covering, nor should one wear a fabric face covering under a costume mask, as the pairing can cause difficulty breathing.

"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," the CDC writes. "... Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask."

Low risk activities include carving/decorating pumpkins with members of your household; having a virtual Halloween costume contest, and having a scary movie night with people you live with. 

You can read the full guideline, which also lays out suggestions for Día de los Muertos and Thanksgiving festivities, here.

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