Traditionally, many children of all ages go door to door trick-or-treating on Halloween. This year, the recommendation is to avoid that activity and consider other ways to celebrate.
"The traditional Halloween celebration of trick-or-treating and going door to door unfortunately carries risk of transmission of COVID-19," says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases specialist. "This year, we are discouraging participating in any activities that significantly increase your risk of transmission or exposure to the infection."
"We are discouraging any door to door trick-or-treating, even trunk-or-treat type activities. Those are really difficult to maintain physical distancing and therefore they carry risk of transmission of infection," says Dr. Rajapakse. "They also involve the exchange of objects or candy which can also contribute to transmission of infection and we would encourage people not to take part in those types of activities this year."
Along with discouraging trick-or-treating, Dr. Rajapakse says indoor Halloween parties also are not recommended because of the high risk of exposure or infection.
"We also are discouraging participating in indoor Halloween parties. We know that transmission of the virus occurs relatively easily, especially in indoor settings where people are in close contact with each other," says Dr. Rajapakse. This means not meeting indoors with large groups of people is another way to reduce the risk of transmission."
These recommendations don't mean you have to cancel Halloween. There are low-risk options to consider, says Dr. Rajapakse.
Consider these options:
Carve pumpkins with members of your household.
Decorate your house, apartment or living space.
Have a virtual Halloween costume contest.