Can I go trick-or-treating?

It’s spooky season and almost time for trick-or-treating! You might be wondering if there are any safety precautions that you need to take, particularly with children who are unvaccinated. The good news is that trick-or-treating can be a low risk activity if you follow some easy safety precautions.  

COVID-19 mainly spreads person-to-person when people cough, sneeze, sing, shout, or even just talk. Though being outside is safer than being inside, being in large groups can increase the risk of transmission, especially if people are unvaccinated.

You should consider a few things before you decide to trick or treat:  

  • Local guidelines on trick-or-treating. Check to see if your local area has any trick-or-treating guidelines.
  • The level of COVID-19 in the community. The higher the level of COVID-19 in a community, the higher your risk of catching it. 
  • Whether you or a family member have a health condition that increases your risk. If you or a family member are at higher risk from complications from COVID, then it’s probably safest to avoid the groups or do some other fun activities. Some great alternative activities include a candy scavenger hunt, spooky trail in your own backyard, pumpkin carving contest, outdoor scary movie night with the family, and room to room trick-or-treating in your house.

If you decide to trick or treat, here are some tips to reduce your risk:

  • Trick or treat in smaller groups and with people who are normally part of your social group.
  • Spread out and keep some distance from other groups. 
  • It is a good idea for unvaccinated children to wear a face covering if trick-or-treating in larger groups or spending time at indoor parties.  There are some great creative options for cloth masks that can double as part of a costume.  Regular Halloween masks are not a protective face covering.
  • Wash your hands after trick-or-treating and before eating treats.
  • If you are thinking of hosting a Halloween party, it’s best to keep it outside and limit the size. Outdoor costume parades are also a fun lower risk event.

If you have COVID symptoms or were exposed to COVID and are quarantined, then you should skip trick-or-treating for this year and plan some stay-at-home fun.

Last update: October 21,  2021 1:00 pm
Science review: ERS, JAB