From carving pumpkins to wearing costumes to trick-or-treating, the last day of October marks a fun time for many families throughout Wisconsin and the country. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic still prevalent, it is important to consider what Halloween will look like and how can families celebrate safely.
The good news is there are plenty of ways to enjoy the festivities while keeping you and your loved ones protected.
Enjoy lower-risk Halloween activities
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a handy guide that lists common Halloween activities and whether they are low, moderate or high risk for spreading the COVID-19 virus.
Plenty of popular activities are classified as low-risk, including carving pumpkins and decorating your house.
Another fun way to celebrate the holidays is by baking Halloween-themed treats with your loved ones.
Spice up your holiday routine
Having movie nights or costume contests with family and friends you live with is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. For loved ones who may be elsewhere, consider turning it into a virtual event and connecting via video or phone.
Visiting a local orchard or pumpkin patch is another idea, but make sure that the place to which you travel is taking proper safety measures. This includes social distancing, masking and use of hand sanitizer before touching the apples or pumpkins.
Be creative with trick-or-treating
Traditional trick-or-treating where children knock on door after door and are handed candy directly from other people is not recommended and is considered a high risk activity.
However, there are some changes you can make to give your children a similar experience while staying safe.
A fun option is to create a scavenger hunt or hide-and-seek-style game that involves hiding candy or items in or near your home. This is much safer than traditional trick or treating and can still be a ghoulishly good time.
If families are going door-to-door, one-way trick-or-treating is strongly advised. Try leaving individual grab bags with goodies at a safe, socially distant location for families to pick up quickly without close contact to others.
If you are preparing these grab bags, make sure to properly wash your hands before and after putting them together.
The CDC has a useful checklist for parents on steps to take when trick or treating that you can view by clicking here.
Make sure to practice proper protocol at all times
No matter what your plans are this Halloween, make sure to follow standard COVID-19 safety precautions consistently, such as.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from people you do not live with.
- Wear a mask when around those you don’t live with. (Costume masks are not effective substitutes for cloth masks.)
- Wash your hands frequently and bring hand sanitizer to use after touching people or objects.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Clean regularly touched surfaces and objects often.
If you are feeling sick, stay home
If you have any concern that you may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed, stay home and contact your doctor. In order to help prevent the spread of the virus, avoid handing out treats and coming into close contact with others.
Check for guidance from trusted sources
Before making plans, a great initial step is checking for recommendations from CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health Services and contacting your local health department.
The CDC can provide valuable tips on staying safe while DHS and your local health department can keep you updated on the latest information specific to your community.
You can learn more from these sources at the links below: