Less Sick More Treats: Ways to Stay COVID-safe this Halloween

As people gather this spooky season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest anyone ages two and older who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 by Halloween should continue to wear masks while celebrating or trick-or-treating. This means children between ages 2-11 and unvaccinated children who are 12 and older should wear a mask while trick-or-treating to stay COVID-19-safe.

In general, vaccinated adults do not need to wear a mask outside, but if you are in an area with high rates of COVID-19 or low rates of COVID-19 vaccination, you should continue to wear a mask regardless of your vaccination status. 

Trick-or-Treating Precautions

  • While costumes do not count as a mask, you could find a fun one to match. 
  • If you are trick-or-treating or handing out candy, only take or give individually wrapped candy as this is safer for trick-or-treaters. 
  • Stick to smaller groups for trick-or-treating to avoid getting or spreading COVID-19. 
  • Be sure to monitor symptoms before and after going out. If you start to develop symptoms, get tested right away. Stay away from others, monitor your symptoms, and quarantine while you wait for your test results. If conditions worsen, call you doctor. 

If any emergencies occur during trick-or-treating or you are worried about where to go, many law enforcement agencies and fire departments offer safe havens. These are places where people can get candy and stay warm for the evening.

Other Activities to Enjoy this Fall

From pumpkin picking to trick-or-treating, different autumn activities have different levels of risk based on how close you might be to others and if you are able to enjoy them outside. 

Here are some popular fall activities and their relative risks:

  • Low risk activities: Carving pumpkins at home, watching movies at home, visiting pumpkin patches/apple orchards, hiking.
  • Moderate risk activities: Door-to-door trick-or-treating in a small group, going to an attendance-controlled Halloween party. 
  • High risk activities: Going to a Halloween party with large attendance, traveling, door-to-door trick-or-treating in a large group. 
    • Wearing a mask, social distancing, and getting vaccinated can make these high-risk activities somewhat safer for you and those around you. 

Staying Safe through the Holiday Season

Everyone ages 12 and older is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. While getting the vaccine now will not provide immunity in time for Halloween, it will help make you safer for upcoming holidays. Immunity develops two weeks after your second shot in a two-shot series or one shot in a one-shot series. 

If you haven’t yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s not too late to protect yourself and others! Click here to find a vaccine near you.