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CDC urges Americans to avoid 'traditional trick-or-treating' this year

Hold a "virtual Halloween costume contest" instead, agency says.

Updated: September 26, 2020 - 7:58pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging Americans to refrain from "traditional" trick-or-treating this year, instead suggesting they hold "virtual" Halloween events or host trick-or-treating scavenger hunts with only members of their own households. 

The agency's guidelines claim that door-to-door trick-or-treating, in which children walk to neighbors' houses and receive handouts of free candy, are "high risk" and inadvisable during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The CDC instead suggests activities such as "carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends," hosting a "virtual Halloween costume contest," or holding a movie night with only the members of your household. 

The agency also suggested several "moderate risk" activities, such as "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."

CDC officials are also urging Americans to avoid traditional crowded Thanksgiving meals with family and friends this year. "Hav[e] a virtual dinner and shar[e] recipes with friends and family," the agency suggests as a possible alternative. 

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