The CDC has issued new guidance when it comes to Halloween 2020.

Obviously, the coronavirus pandemic has changed just about everything we know about "normal" life and Halloween is no exception. I guess the best part about Halloween in a post-COVID world is the fact that the masks are already built into the occasion.

But alas, even with Halloween being the OG of the mask game, the CDC is warning against traditional Halloween activities like door-to-door trick-or-treating.

Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Here are the "higher-risk activities" that the CDC suggests we avoid:

  • Traditional trick-or-treating in which treats are given to children going door to door
  • Trunk-or-treat, in which treats are given from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Crowded indoor costume parties
  • Indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Hayrides or tractor rides with people outside your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors
  • Travel to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

Some communities have been mindful, planning activities to celebrate Halloween more safely, but the CDC says that the following alternatives still carry a moderate risk:

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating in which 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.
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending an outdoor costume party where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
  • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
  • 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.
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart.
  • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • 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
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
  • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

So what do we do if everything associated with traditional Halloween is too high risk? Well, the CDC recommends that we carve pumpkins. If you really want to get wild, go ahead and decorate that pumpkin.

Another CDC suggestion? Host a virtual Halloween costume contest. They say this way you can "show off this year’s costume without needing to go to any crowded spaces."

Whatever you do for Halloween, make sure you and your family are safe and as always, be considerate of others while you make the most out of life in a post-COVID world.