This year, the Halloween party must be different

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The coronavirus pandemic has put a major damper on nationwide Halloween celebrations. This year the Halloween party will be different. “Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the CDC’s holiday recommendations page says. CDC issued guidelines for this. The list of “low-risk” Halloween pursuits includes socially distanced pumpkin carving, virtual Halloween costume competitions and Halloween movie nights. Socially distanced outdoor scavenger hunts are also encouraged. And what more ? In lieu of door-to-door trick-or-treating, the CDC suggests “one-way trick-or-treating where 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).” Halloween parties or costume parades are allowed only outdoor and the participants must wear masks and stay 6 feet apart at all times. Costume masks are not substitutes for protective face masks. A Halloween-themed cloth mask ensures that revelers can celebrate the holiday in style while mitigating the spread of disease.

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No haunted house. Instead an “open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest” which is better on pandemic conditions. “Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19,” should be avoided as well, per the guidelines. The CDC also cautioned against donning a costume mask unless “it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers your mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around your face.” Local or state mandates on the coronavirus pandemic must always be respected.