BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths dropping nationwide, doctors say trick-or-treating is one of the activities this fall that we can really engage in with lots of layers of protection against the virus.

“We’ve grown in our science since last year, but the most important thing is we have a vaccine,” said Dr. Keri Althoff, associate professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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They say it’s an encouraging sign as we continue to fight to get to the other side of this pandemic.

“Definitely get out there with your kids and trick or treat, be outside, that’s the best place for you,” said Althoff.

There is a catch, Dr. Althoff says there’s a right way to do it safely.

“I think being outside for these gatherings is really going to be key,” said Althoff.

She recommends staying in small groups for any activities, keeping your distance and properly incorporating a mask into your costume.

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“If you’re wearing a holiday mask that is a part of your costume that does not cover your mouth and nose properly, that’s not giving you the protection you need,” said Althoff.

Proper face coverings are especially important for kids under the age of 12 who can’t get vaccinated just yet.

For those handing out goodies, doctors say the treats will be just as sweet, even with less physical contact.

“You can put a bowl of candy, even a few feet from you and tell the guests to take a few pieces and you can sit there with your mask on,” said Althoff.

Most importantly, parents can look forward to making Halloween memories with their loved ones again.

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Health officials say they’re going to be monitoring COVID-19 cases following Halloween, and hopes this serves as a reminder for people to get vaccinated ahead of the holiday season so we can enjoy them safely.