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Halloween: Healthy Tips

Last updated: October 15, 2021

Get Vaccinated

Halloween is a fun holiday for many families. Halloween during a pandemic can still be enjoyable as long as celebrators, who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, are fully vaccinated and trick-or-treaters practice proper safety measures.

Unfortunately, many Halloween traditions can be high-risk for spreading viruses. To protect trick-or-treaters and avoid the spread of COVID-19, the flu and other respiratory illnesses, continue to keep at a distance, wear face coverings, avoid large gatherings, wash hands often, and get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines if eligible.

If you are positive for COVID-19 or the flu, have COVID-19 or flu symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 or the flu, you should not participate in in-person activities or hand out candy.

The Department of Health recommends avoiding indoor Halloween parties. If hosting or attending a party, consider setting up outdoors and inviting only vaccinated individuals.

If you choose to trick-or-treat, do it outdoors and reduce risk by staying with members of your household, keep your distance from people outside your household, mask up for extra protection and practice good hand hygiene. Additional tips include:

  • Consider Halloween-themed face coverings instead of costume masks. Do not share masks, fangs or similar items.
    Note: Costume masks on top of cloth masks can be dangerous and limit breathing. Costume masks have mouth and nose holes and don’t provide the same protection as face coverings.
  • Bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer when trick or treating.
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth, as germs can spread that way.
  • Children should NOT reach into candy bowls or bags. Candy should be given out using a scoop or tongs, so the candy is not directly handled.
  • Consider providing individually wrapped goodie bags on a table at the edge of the driveway or yard. When preparing and handing out treats, be sure to follow proper hand hygiene.
  • Avoid party games like bobbing for apples or other activities that might involve sharing items that have come into contact with other people’s mouths or noses.
  • When returning home with treats, children should wash hands properly with soap and water before eating anything.

Low Risk

  • Trick-or-treating outdoors at vaccinated friends’ homes
  • Pumpkin carving with members of your household, or outdoors with neighbors and friends
  • Decorating the inside and outside of your home
  • Indoor scavenger hunt for household members or outdoors for children walking from house to house admiring decorations
  • Virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Halloween movie night with household members

Medium Risk

  • Halloween movie night outdoors with local family and friends
  • Outdoor, open-air costume parade or party in small groups
  • Open-air, one-way haunted forest
  • Visit a pumpkin patch or orchard where hand sanitizer use is required before touching pumpkins or apples

High Risk Activities Not Recommended:


  • Indoor apartment building trick-or-treating
  • Indoor parties and haunted houses
  • Crowded public hay rides
  • Large crowded trunk-or-treats without distancing between people and vehicles
  • Massively crowded festivals and street parties

 

Look into safer alternatives to celebrate where appropriate vaccination, distancing and face covering guidelines are enforced. Consider being more than 6 feet apart if screaming will occur. For more information on activities, gatherings and holidays, visit the CDC’s Guidelines.

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