Halloween is right around the corner, and many people are wondering exactly how they should be approaching the timeless tradition of trick-or-treating as the coronavirus pandemic persists.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its guidance on Halloween and other holidays in September, and the Charles County Department of Health has provided its recommendations for trick-or-treating this year. In addition, we’ve also provided recommendations from our experts to give you a better sense of what to expect next week. Here’s what you need to know:
Guidelines from the Charles County Department of Health
The Charles County Department of Health has announced that it is adhering to the guidelines provided by the CDC. Furthermore, the Department has recommended against the following activities:
- Traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed out to children who go door to door
- Going to an indoor haunted house
- Attending crowded indoor costume parties
- Traveling to other communities with high rates of COVID-19
Is Trick-or-Treating a Good Idea This Year?
Regardless of what state or local governments are recommending or mandating this year, the reality is that the CDC and doctors agree, trick-or-treating is a high-risk activity as COVID-19 remains prevalent in our communities. Although experts are still trying to determine just how infectious and severe COVID-19 is among children, the fear remains that trick-or-treating or similar activities at Halloween could propel the spread of the virus to more vulnerable members of the community, such as those with pre-existing conditions.
“If we follow the CDC guidance, plan ahead, and think creatively, we can all enjoy a safe, exciting, and happy Halloween,” Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna Abney said.
Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating
2020 has been a difficult year for a multitude of reasons, and we understand the desire to take a night to just enjoy a tradition that feels normal, but we strongly believe that the safety of everyone in our community is the most important thing.
There have been a variety of trick-or-treating alternatives suggested, including doing trick-or-treating in a more grab-and-go style, hosting trunk-or-treat events outside, etc. While these alternatives may seem like they’re lowering the risk of transmission, the reality is that many of them are classified by the CDC as high-risk or moderate-risk activities because they don’t offer enough physical distancing or open the door to contact-based transmission.
Here are some activities that offer a low risk of spreading or contracting the coronavirus:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside with neighbors or friends at a safe distance
- Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
- Having a scavenger-hunt for Halloween candy in or around your home
- Walk around the neighborhood to check out Halloween decorations at a distance
Click here for additional guidance and recommendations from the CDC and Charles County Department of Health.