While Halloween may look different amid coronavirus, there are still many ways to safely enjoy the holiday, health experts say.
First, people should opt for a Halloween at home with family and decorate pumpkins, watch scary movies or have a virtual costume contest, Dr. Leonard Krilov, chair of pediatrics and chief of pediatric infectious diseases at NYU Winthrop Hospital, told Fox News.
“Avoid direct contact or large groups,” Krilov said. “Outdoor activities are best when at a distance, such as touring Halloween house decorations in neighborhoods.”
Traditional treat-or-treating adds risk and should be avoided, health experts say.
“If COVID-19 numbers are rising in your community, there may be official guidance on whether trick-or-treating is even permissible,” says Dr. Linda Anegawa with virtual health platform PlushCare.
If families choose to trick-or-treat, experts advise using hand sanitizer after visits to each house, and wearing face masks (not costumes, but surgical or cloth masks). Don’t double up on costume masks and coronavirus-related face masks because it could cause difficulty breathing, experts warn.
Avoid meeting trick-or-treaters at the door because it involves close contact and raises the risk of virus spread. Instead, prep bowls of individually wrapped candies ahead of time and leave them at the edge of the driveway or lawn, Krilov says. Use hand sanitizer before and after prepping Halloween treats.
Also, yelling and screaming can raise the risk of virus spread. Make sure to follow proper distancing guidelines (at least six feet) and, again, wear a mask.
Small group gatherings might be reasonable, if they are held outdoors and maintain distancing. Crowded, indoor parties with non-household members should be avoided; this is considered a high-risk activity in terms of virus spread.
Finally, if those options don’t pique interest, health experts also suggest visiting a pumpkin patch or an outdoor haunted maze with mask use, distancing and hand hygiene in mind.