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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health agreed with Dr. Fauci, saying kids should be perfectly fine trick-or-treating this year, as long as it’s done outside.

In an announcement earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci commented outdoor Halloween activities carry a much lower risk of infection.

With COVID-19 cases decreasing in both children and adults across the state, Landers says it’s a good sign for the spooky holiday. Still, she says that number is by no means a safe zone.

Landers stated that 18% of COVID-19 cases across the state are children, and even though that number may seem high, it is down from nearly a quarter in just the last month. She also echoed Fauci’s recommendation, saying that outdoor activities are considered safer, especially when social distancing is exercised and kids wash their hands before eating their candy.

Dr. Landers said while it is a good thing that cases are decreasing, holidays like this one cater to some of the most vulnerable groups – those too young to be vaccinated.

“As more people are vaccinated, COVID will really go to the more vulnerable population that doesn’t have any level of immunity, and that’s kids,” said Landers. “This is our more socially active group and our group of people that tend to congregate together and again in kids, especially younger kids you can talk about social distancing all we want to, but if you’re talking about toddlers, that’s probably not going to happen.”

Parents are encouraged to enforce safe practices with their children, like sticking to outdoor trick-or-treating in small groups. For handing out candy and other goodies, health officials recommended sitting outside and lining up individually prepackaged treats for children to take.

Tight, indoor gatherings like Halloween parties are still against the recommendation of health experts, unless masks are worn – just not the spooky kind.