Wisconsin health officials recommend against usual trick-or-treating

Clay Curtis
September 22, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging people to avoid most of the fun Halloween activities this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of sending children from house to house, the health department's instructions include suggestions such as holding a drive-by costume contest, leaving treats in mailboxes or - memorably - "using a candy "slide" made of PVC pipe or hanging treats from a wall or fence" to get them to trick-or-treaters.

The agency recommends no trick-or-treating, no costume masks, and no indoor costume parties or haunted houses.

74% of millennial moms and young parents say that Halloween 2020 is more important than ever.

The National Confectioners Association, a trade group that represents candy-makers, said in a statement that the new CDC guidance "reinforces that Halloween is happening and provides inspiration for creative and safe approaches to celebrating the holiday".

The CDC also notes that using alcohol or drugs can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors.

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The new guidance advises Ohioans to cancel all hayrides, haunted houses and large in-person gatherings, especially those that take place indoors.

Going door-to-door, or trunk-to-trunk where treats are handed out directly to children can contribute to the spread of the virus, the CDC says.

The CDC deems so-called one-way trick-or-treating in which individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab as moderate risk.

Safe activities include carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them, carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends or decorating your house, apartment, or living space.

Also on the moderate-risk list: an outdoor scary movie night with local friends who are socially distanced. A costume mask is no substitute for a cloth mask, according to the agency, but don't double up with one over the other because that can make it hard to breathe.

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