CDC says traditional trick-or-treating is a high-risk activity

Halloween. Trunk or treats and traditional door-to-door trick or treating is classified as high risk by the CDC.

| 28 Sep 2020 | 02:57

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categorized traditional trick-or-treating, and a handful of other Halloween-related activities — including indoor costume parties, trunk or treats, indoor haunted houses, fall festivals, hay rides, and tractor rides — as high risk during the age of COVID-19.

The following activities are considered to have a “moderate” risk factor:

• 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). If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.

• A small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than six feet apart

• Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than six 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 six feet apart. If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised.

• 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.

• An outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least six feet apart. If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised.

The CDC recommends the following “lower risk” activities instead:

• Carving or decorating pumpkins with household members.

• 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.

• A virtual Halloween costume contest.

• Having a Halloween movie night with household members.

• Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.


Masks and costumes: A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
Packing goodie bags: Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water prior to packing goodie bags