STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Trick-or-treating, costume masks and Halloween parties discouraged by CDC this year

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its...

Posted: Sep 22, 2020 10:58 AM
Updated: Sep 22, 2020 11:00 AM

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its first guidance for the holidays, including Halloween, amid the raging coronavirus pandemic in a new posting on its website Monday night.

Door-to-door trick-or-treating and costume masks and parties are discouraged this year due to the pandemic, the CDC said.

"Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses," the agency said in its posting. "There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween."

The new guidance lists "low-risk, moderate and higher risk activities" for celebrating All Hallow's Eve.

Low risk Halloween activities

Low risk activities include carving pumpkins and decorating your home, outdoor scavenger hunts, virtual costume contests and hosting a movie night with household members.

The CDC suggests, "Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance," as a fun event for children.

"Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with," is another low risk idea.

Moderate risk events

Moderate risk things to do include so-called "one-way trick-or-treating" by exchanging goody bags placed at the end of a driveway or the edge of a yard, having a small group outside for an "open-air costume parade" where participants are at least 6-feet apart or attending an outdoor costume party where masks are worn and people social distance.

A note here about Halloween masks. "A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask," the CDC said. "A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn't leave gaps."

The agency is discouraging the use of costume masks this year, saying they are not a substitute for cloth masks. It is also warning against wearing a costume mask over a protective cloth, pointing out it's dangerous because it might make it hard to breathe.

Other moderate risk activities include "an open-air, one-way, walk through (a) haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can social distance.

"If screaming will occur, greater distancing is advised," the agency urged.

Pumpkin patches or orchard visits and outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends are OK in this category.

Higher risk activities should be avoided

The CDC is warning higher risk activities should be avoided. These include door-to-door trick-or-treating, attending crowded, indoor costume parties, visiting indoor haunted houses or going on hayrides or tractors rides with strangers.

"Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots," should be avoided, too.

"Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19," should also be avoided.

In fact, the health agency recommends tailoring all Halloween activity based on whether coronavirus infections are spiking in a given area.

Day of the Dead

That goes for Day of the Dead celebrations, too.

"Many traditional activities can put you at higher risk for exposure to COVID-19. There are several safer, alternative ways to celebrate Día de los Muertos," the CDC said.

Health officials suggest making traditional family recipes for family and neighbors and delivering them in a non-contact manner, playing music in your home that your deceased loved ones enjoyed, making and decorating masks, setting out pillows and blankets in your home for the deceased and joining virtual celebrations as the lowest risk way to celebrate Day of the Dead.

Moderate activities include an open-air parade where people remain 6 feet apart, visiting and decorating the graves of loved ones with family members or hosting/attending small outdoor dinners with local family and friends.

Large indoor celebrations with singing or chanting are considered higher risk events that should be avoided, as are crowded indoor gatherings, large dinner parties with people from different households and travelers from other locations.

"When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees," the CDC warned.

The agency said the new guidelines are not meant to replace any local or state mandates on the pandemic.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1650303

Reported Deaths: 47719
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens2118128784
Kings2109509118
Suffolk1628183086
Nassau1486692918
Bronx1445195881
Westchester1078572101
New York1039223906
Erie654191603
Richmond572011579
Monroe52679991
Rockland38628889
Orange37059720
Onondaga32452630
Dutchess22387408
Albany20890332
Oneida19735478
Niagara15324312
Broome14870336
Saratoga11970145
Schenectady10842178
Ulster10069228
Rensselaer9039132
Putnam836986
Chautauqua7336123
Chemung6440130
Oswego600289
Ontario580188
St. Lawrence553285
Steuben5509137
Cayuga537988
Jefferson480663
Sullivan475559
Herkimer4561107
Wayne447364
Cattaraugus442076
Genesee4411118
Madison384885
Clinton361026
Livingston355056
Tompkins345742
Columbia340096
Fulton333784
Montgomery3190107
Cortland316760
Allegany290481
Warren284155
Wyoming282049
Tioga280656
Greene264871
Orleans245181
Chenango243969
Otsego235543
Washington234352
Franklin208712
Lewis206730
Seneca162053
Delaware151933
Essex134226
Schoharie121012
Yates101426
Schuyler86812
Hamilton2842
Unassigned221140
Out of NY0192
Rome
Mostly Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 20° Lo: 5°
Feels Like: 12°
Binghamton
Partly Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 20° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: 21°
Rome
Mostly Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 21° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: 12°
Rome
Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 16° Lo: -4°
Feels Like: 12°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Submit your Mutt Madness Picture through March 10th
March into Beautiful Skin Giveaway
2021 Golfer's Paradise Card - 21 Courses for only $99.99
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve