To Trick or Treat .. or Not? Minnesota Health Officials Offer Halloween Guidance
The Minnesota Department of Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released guidance to help families celebrate Halloween safely this year. Health experts say door-to-door trick-or-treating carries “higher risk” of contracting the novel coronavirus. Trunk or treating is also in the higher risk category.
Is it safe to trick or treat?
“CDC in their guidance is trying to help people recognize that an activity in which you are going from door to door and exposing yourself to multiple individuals that are not part of your household and taking things from those individuals, I think they’re saying, ‘you know what, the multiple elements of that, make that a higher risk activity,” said Kris Ehresmann, the state’s top infectious disease expert.
Added Ehresmann, “They don’t say thou shalt not. They’re just saying that if you’re looking at levels of risk of how you choose to celebrate Halloween, [trick-or-treating] would be something they would recommend against.”
Halloween guidance activity risk levels:
The Minnesota Department of Health recommends the following safety tips for Halloween and all upcoming holidays.
- Wear face coverings at indoor and outdoor gatherings if any of the guests do not live with you.
- Stay 6 feet away from others, whenever possible.
- Costume masks are not substitutes for cloth face masks. The best face masks have two layers of fabric and cover your nose and mouth. Wearing a cloth face mask under a costume mask is not recommended because it may be hard to breathe.
- Celebrate at home with family. Carve or decorate pumpkins. Have a Halloween movie night with treats.
- Celebrate outside with family, neighbors and friends. Carve or decorate pumpkins outside. Hold a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt.
- A virtual Halloween costume contest.
- No-contact neighborhood trick-or-treating. Put treats in individual goodie bags and place them at the end of your driveway or at the edge of your yard for families to grab and go.
- An outdoor costume party or haunted forest. Follow the safety tips above.
- Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards. Use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples. Follow safety tips above.
Avoid higher-risk activities
- Trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go from door to door.
- Costume parties or haunted houses held indoors.
- Trunk-or-treating where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
- Hayrides with people who do not live with you and fall festivals.