Can I go trick-or-treating?

It’s finally fall and kids are getting excited about choosing Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating. You might be worried about whether it’s safe. But there’s good news! Our team at COVID-101.org agrees that trick-or-treating can be a low risk activity if you follow some easy safety precautions.  

Remember that 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.

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

  • Local guidelines on trick-or-treating. Many areas are creating guidelines for trick-or-treating, so check those out to see what is recommended for you.
  • 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 choose a different option. Some great alternative activities include a candy scavenger hunt, spooky trail in your own backyard, 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 small groups. Stick with your family or social pod.
  • Keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and other groups. 
  • Wear a face covering when you answer the door for trick or treaters. Kids can also wear a mask. There are some great creative options for cloth masks that can double as part of a costume.
  • Use contact free ways to distribute treats.  Use a grabber for kids to reach into a treat bowl or for adults to drop treats into bags. Hang individually bagged treats on a tree or fence. Set up a treat table with individually bagged treats.
  • Wash your hands after trick-or-treating and use hand sanitizer frequently during trick-or-treating.
  • Wipe packaged treats with a disinfecting wipe before kids (or parents) eat them on Halloween night.  There’s no need to wipe down the treats that kids are going to eat later, but there’s also no harm in doing that.
  • If you are thinking of hosting a Halloween party, check out these tips for outdoor gatherings. Costume parades are also low risk if you follow the tips for distancing and mask wearing.

So Halloween is not canceled. Just follow these simple tips to keep it low risk.

Last update: September 18,  2020 9:00 am
Science review: ERS, JAB