The covid-19 pandemic could cancel the Halloween celebration 0:44
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its first guidance for the holidays, including Halloween, amid the raging coronavirus pandemic.
In a new post on its website Monday night, the CDC says that due to the pandemic, door-to-door trick-or-treating and masquerade masks and parties are discouraged this year.
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"Many traditional Halloween activities can have a high risk of spreading the virus," the agency said.
"There are several safer alternative ways to participate in Halloween."
The new guide lists "low, moderate and high risk activities" to celebrate Halloween.
Halloween in a pandemic: low-risk activities
Low-risk activities include pumpkin carving and home decorating, outdoor scavenger hunts, virtual costume contests, and hosting a movie night with household members.
The CDC suggests “doing a scavenger hunt where kids are given Halloween-themed lists of things to look for as they walk outside from house to house admiring decorations from a distance” as a fun event for kids.
"Having a Halloween movie night with the people you live with" is another low-risk idea.
Moderate risk events
Moderate risk things to do include the so-called "one way trick or treat," by exchanging goody bags placed at the end of a driveway or on the edge of a patio.
Also have a small group outside for an 'outdoor costume parade', in which participants are separated by at least 2 meters, or attend an open-air costume party where masks are worn and people distance themselves socially.
"A costume mask (like a Halloween mask) is not a substitute for a cloth mask," the CDC said.
"A disguise mask should not be worn unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and does not leave gaps."
The agency advises against wearing masquerade masks this year, saying they are not a substitute for cloth masks.
He also cautions against wearing a disguise mask over a protective cloth and notes that it is dangerous because it can make breathing difficult.
Other moderate-risk activities include “a one-way walk in the open air through a haunted forest where proper use of face masks is imposed and people can socially distance themselves.
"If yelling is going to occur, greater distancing is recommended," says the agency
Visits to orchards or pumpkin patches and outdoor Halloween movie night with family friends are well in this category.
Higher risk activities should be avoided
The CDC advises that riskier activities should be avoided.
These include door-to-door trick-or-treating, attending crowded indoor costume parties, visiting indoor haunted houses, or riding in carriages or tractors with strangers.
"Trick-or-treating where treats are handed out from cars lined up in large parking lots should also be avoided."
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"Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community should be avoided if you live in an area with community spread of covid-19."
In fact, the health agency recommends tailoring all Halloween activities based on whether coronavirus infections are on the rise in a given area.
Day of the Dead
This also applies to the Day of the Dead celebrations.
“Many traditional activities can put you at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.
There are several safer alternative ways to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, "said the CDC.
Health officials suggest preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors and delivering them without contact.
Also play music in your home that your deceased loved ones like, make and decorate masks, place pillows and blankets in your home for the deceased, and join virtual celebrations as the least risky way to celebrate the Day of the Dead.
Moderate activities include an outdoor parade where people stand 2 meters apart, visiting and decorating the graves of their loved ones with family members or organizing / attending small outdoor dinners with local family and friends.
Large indoor celebrations with chants or chants are considered higher risk events to avoid, as are crowded indoor gatherings, large dinners with people from different homes, and travelers from elsewhere.
"When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess the current levels of covid-19 in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel or limit the number of attendees," the CDC warned.
The agency said the new guidelines are not intended to replace any state or local mandates on the pandemic.