State health officials give guidance on pandemic trick or treating


Getty Images

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — State health officials say trunk-or-treat events and haunted houses are among the Halloween activities most likely to facilitate the spread of COVID-19.

Families should consider safer activities this holiday season to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Alabama Department of Health said Tuesday, including alternatives to traditional door-to-door trick or treating.

State health officials broke down activities into high-, moderate- and lower-risk activities:

  • High Risk:
    • Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating with shared candy bowls
    • Trunk-or-treating events
    • Crowded indoor events such as haunted houses and costume contests
  • Moderate Risk:
    • No-touch trick-or-treating (such as candy chutes)
    • Goodie bags placed outside for pickup
    • Outdoor, distanced costume parade
    • Outdoor, distanced movie night
  • Lower Risk:
    • Pumpkin carving at home with family
    • Outdoor, distanced pumpkin carving with friends
    • Decorating at home
    • Outdoor scavenger hunt in neighborhood
    • Virtual costume contest
    • Movie night with family

In addition to outlining the risks for Halloween activities, ADPH officials said anyone with COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone with it should not participate in in-person Halloween activities. Anyone exposed within the past 14 days or who is showing symptoms should stay home. People at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 also should stay home, they said.

Parents also should emphasize to their children the importance of hand washing, proper mask wearing and social distancing, officials said.

ADPH also has other general safety measures families can take:

  • Be sure costumes, wigs and accessories are flame-resistant.
  • Wear protective face coverings made up of two or more layers of breathable fabric instead of a costume mask. Face coverings can be decorated with themes, too.
  • Add reflective tape to costumes.
  • Do not wear decorative contact lenses; they can cause eye injuries.
  • Be careful to prevent accidental cuts when carving pumpkins.
  • Make sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles.
  • Never walk near lit candles or luminaries and avoid distraction from electronic devices.
  • Keep candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and curtains.
  • Prepare grab-and-go goodie bags for no touch pickup outside.
  • Consider providing non-food treats such as crayons and coloring books.
  • Examine treats for choking hazards before allowing them to be consumed; limit the amount of sugary and sticky candies consumed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News