By The Baltimore Child Abuse CenterSponsored By LifeBridge Health

Halloween may look quite different this year for families. If you decide to celebrate with others, consider the following factors: the community levels of COVID-19, the location and ventilation of the gathering, the duration of the gathering, the number of people at the gathering, the locations attendees are traveling from and the behaviors of attendees (social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and other prevention behaviors).

Because many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween while protecting individuals and their families, friends and communities from COVID-19. Here are some activities for you to consider:

Lower Risk Activities

These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment or living space
  • 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
  • Holding a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Watching a Halloween-themed movie with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going from house to house

Moderate Risk Activities

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
  • Holding a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family and friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart

Higher Risk Activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go from door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat events where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19
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