Trick or treating during a pandemic

How To Make Trick-or-treating Safer This Year
Posted at 3:59 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 07:18:38-04

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Halloween is just a few days away and while you might be getting your costume and candy ready, doctors say there are some precautions to take to have a safe holiday.

This year it’s all about creating new traditions; doing things a little differently so you can still celebrate the holiday safely.

"Everybody looks forward to trick or treating, myself included," said MedStar's Shawn Mueller. "Candy and costumes: what could be better?"

But the big question this year is how do we do it safely and still have a good time?

Mueller, the Director for Infection Prevention at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, said it’s all about following the CDC guidelines.

First, if you choose to trick or treat, stay 6 feet apart from anyone not in your group and make sure you wear an appropriate face covering.

"You can get a really fun bedazzled one or one that goes with your costume but it's very important to wear a mask along with your costume," said Mueller.

Instead of the normal door-to-door trick or treating, the CDC recommends putting candy in a basket or a bowl.

"Leave it out on your stoop or table at the end of the driveway so that folks, they can then participate in the fun of trick or treating but still do it safely that we can stay 6 feet apart," said Mueller.

And when you’re all finished, thoroughly wash your hands before digging into the candy, but you don't necessarily have to worry abou the candy wrappers.

"I know in the beginning, it was a big thing to wipe down boxes, but the research coming out now is not showing that as a real viable vector of transmission," said Mueller.

She also suggests making new traditions instead of trick or treating; maybe a trip to the pumpkin patch or a Halloween treat hunt in your yard to help prevent any spread.

"We are community and we need to take care of one another and you don’t always know what battle someone else is fighting," said Mueller. "Be respectful of those who don’t want to participate because you don’t know who is on the other side of the door, who may be immunocompromised."

The CDC also recommends other outdoor, COVID-friendly activities, like carving pumpkins, decorating your home, tour the decorations in your neighborhood at a distance, visit a corn maze, hold an outdoor costume parade or contest or host an outdoor Halloween movie night.