CDC Recommends Skipping Door-To-Door Trick-Or-Treating This Halloween

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that Americans avoid Halloween celebrations that involve in-person interactions this year.

The agency says traditional in-person Halloween festivities — like having an indoor costume party, going to a haunted house, or giving out candy to trick-or-treaters going door-to-door — should be avoided this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the CDC said. “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.”

Safer alternatives

Become a Harlem insider - Sign-Up for our Newsletter!

While group gatherings and giving out candy in the traditional way aren’t recommended this year, the CDC says Americans can enjoy Halloween in a number of low-risk ways, including:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household;
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends;
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space;
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance;
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest;
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with; and
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house-to-house.

Halloween activities categorized by health officials as “moderate risk” include:

  • Participating in “one-way trick-or-treating,” where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance;
  • Having a small-group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart;
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart;
  • 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;
  • 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; and
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart.

Read more at Consumer Affairs.

Related Articles


"Dr. Harry Delany is a renowned Harlem born and raised surgeon, the son of the great jurist and civil rights leader, Hubert Delany...." This monthly post is made in partnership with Harlem Cultural Archives.

Leave a Reply