CDC Issues Holiday Guidance Signaling Halloween Is Happening

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Washington — The CDC has issued seasonal activities guidance highlighting that while Halloween celebrations will look different, the holiday will be celebrated across the country this year, NCA reports.

“The CDC’s guidance reinforces that Halloween is happening and provides inspiration for creative and safe approaches to celebrating the holiday throughout the month of October,” says NCA President and CEO John Downs. “There’s no question that Halloween will look different this year, and innovative approaches endorsed by CDC like outdoor trick-or-treating can bring a little fun to the fall.”

The CDC’s guidance breaks down activities into low, moderate and high-risk levels, offering alternatives and safety suggestions for the holiday. For instance, decorating a home and having virtual Halloween costume contest are marked as low risk, while going to indoor haunted houses and hayrides are considered high risk.

“Halloween is traditionally an outdoor holiday and the one time of the year when kids want to wear a mask. This is fully consistent with the CDC safety guidelines, and with the appropriate physical distancing, trick-or-treating can safely happen,” says Dr. Stephen Ostroff, a former CDC and FDA official. “Whether this means employing a creative ‘one-way’ solution or finding another way to show off costumes, this type of activity can easily take place this October with little risk of COVID-19 transmission.”

Dr. Ostroff also worked with NCA to develop a guidance for safe Halloween celebrations, while the Association is hosting its digital Halloween Central portal that offers inspiration for celebrations.