CDC Halloween 2020 guidelines: Trick-or-treating, costume masks not advised

Ironically, this is the one time you shouldn’t wear a mask.

Halloween won’t be cancelled over the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is warning revelers against participating in certain holiday traditions to help slow the spread of disease. The group has released their 2020 Halloween guidelines for the COVID-19 era.

“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the agency wrote in the advisory posted Monday.

“High risk activities” entailed “crowded costume parties held indoors,” haunted houses, hayrides and tractor rides with people from outside of one’s household and, sadly, door-door-to trick-or-treating, per the notice. The latter includes “trunk-or-treat, where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.”

“Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19,” should be avoided as well, per the guidelines.

The CDC also cautioned against donning a costume mask unless “it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers your mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around your face.” And don’t slap a plastic mask over a coronavirus cover as that can make it hard to breathe, per the warning.

Fortunately, they’ve provided a handy list of “low risk” Halloween pursuits, which include socially-distanced pumpkin carving, virtual Halloween costume competitions and Halloween movie nights. Socially-distanced outdoor scavenger hunts or intra-family scavenger hunts indoors, are also encouraged.

Too watered down for Halloween die-hards? Fortunately, they’ve provided some “moderate risk” alternatives as well.

In lieu of door-to-door trick or treating, the CDC suggests “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).” One enterprising Halloween dad went viral recently after dispensing treats via a COVID-safe “candy chute.”

And if you must attend a Halloween party or costume parade, make sure it occurs outdoors and that participants wear masks and stay six feet apart at all times. Meanwhile, a Halloween-themed cloth mask ensures that revelers can celebrate the holiday in style while mitigating the spread of disease. Fittingly enough, it appears that the now-viral “Karen” mask — which lampoons white women who throw public tantrums over mask mandates — doesn’t serve this purpose.

No haunted house, no problem. Hit up an “open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest,” that adheres to all the aforementioned precautions. “If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised,” according to the guidelines.

While organizing a Hallow’s Eve party, the CDC urges hosts to assess “current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees.”

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The CDC stresses that the alternatives are not meant to replace local or state mandates on the coronavirus pandemic.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has put a major damper on nationwide Halloween celebrations of late. New York City recently suspended their annual holiday parade over COVID concerns while Los Angeles banned trick-or-treating outright before subsequently reversing their decision.

New York Post


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