Kids in their Halloween costumes wearing face masks.
Healthy Living

Halloween and COVID-19: Staying Healthy and Safe While Celebrating

Oct 30 2020

COVID-19 has changed the way we do almost everything this year. This includes celebrating holidays like Halloween. While Halloween may not look like it normally does this year, there are plenty of great ways for kids — and adults — to have fun and stay safe.

Here’s what to know before you pop on your costumes and head out.

Enjoy lower-risk Halloween activities 

One of the best ways to enjoy Halloween this year and not put yourself at risk for COVID-19 is to take part in lower-risk activities. These are fun things you can do at home while avoiding getting too close to others.

They include:

  • Carving pumpkins
  • Holding a virtual costume contest
  • Decorating the outside of your home
  • Cooking up yummy Halloween treats
  • Putting together a scavenger hunt in your home or yard
  • Enjoying a spooky movie night at home with your family
  • Having a socially distant costume parade through your neighborhood
  • Walking or driving through your community while admiring decorations

Attend Halloween community events — safely

While some people are still staying home as much as possible, others are getting out more. You may even find that your community is hosting events for Halloween.

It’s still important to be careful to avoid crowds and practice social distancing. If possible, try to only attend outdoor events. These might include:

  • Pumpkin patches and apple orchards
  • Outdoor socially distant costume parties
  • Halloween events at outdoor venues like parks and zoos
  • Open-air events, like haunted forests rather than haunted houses
  • Outdoor movie nights staying in your car at the drive-in or sitting with your immediate family at a park or other venue

If you do attend these outdoor events, watch out for crowded areas. Stay at least six feet away from other people who aren’t part of your household.

Also, adults and children over the age of two should wear face masks. Keep in mind that a mask that comes with your costume is not a good substitute for one that fits securely over your mouth and nose. Bring hand sanitizer along too and use it often while out.

When you attend exciting Halloween events, there may be some screaming. This can spread infected droplets into the air. If you think the people around you may get too excited — or too scared — keep your distance. For example, if you’re walking through a haunted forest, give the group ahead of you some time to get more than six feet away.

Go trick-or-treating a different way

Trick-or-treating the old-fashioned way is the ultimate Halloween activity, but it’s a higher-risk activity.  Community “trunk-or-treat” activities are also high-risk.

If you want to take part in trick-or-treating, make up individual goodie bags and place them at the end of your driveway for kids to grab when they walk by. You can also get creative and try tossing candy at trick-or-treaters or creating a candy zipline. Wear a face mask and gloves while preparing candy for trick-or-treaters.

Limit or avoid other higher-risk Halloween activities

Traditional trick-or-treating is just one of several higher-risk activities you may see on Halloween. Try to also avoid other high-risk activities like:

  • Festivals in other communities, especially if you live in an area with a high rate of COVID-19 infection
  • Hayrides with people who aren’t part of your household
  • Indoor events, like costume parties and haunted houses
  • Trunk-or-treating events

Last but not least, if you have COVID-19, have been around someone who does or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, stay home. This is critical in preventing further spread of the virus in your community.

Stay updated on what Mercy Health is doing related to COVID-19.

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