What will Halloween look like during a pandemic?
Posted October 6, 2020 4:59 a.m. EDT
Updated October 6, 2020 4:33 p.m. EDT
With the holiday season quickly approaching, everyone wants to know when the pandemic will be over and if things will ever return to normal.
The CDC grouped typical Halloween festivities into high, medium and low risk and listed ideas that will be safe during a pandemic.
Safe, low-risk activities include virtual costume contests or video calls with friends and watching a Halloween movie or pumpkin carving with members of your household.
Instead of typical trick-or-treating or parties, medium-risk alternatives include exchanging goody bags placed at the end of a driveway or the edge of a yard, having a small group outside for an "open-air costume parade" where participants are at least 6-feet apart or attending an outdoor costume party where masks are worn and people social distance.
Visiting a pumpkin patch or walking through an outdoor, socially distanced haunted setting are also moderate risk.
Door-to-door trick-or-treating, attending crowded, indoor costume parties, visiting indoor haunted houses or going on hayrides or tractors rides with strangers are all high risk and should be avoided, the CDC says.
Durham mayor: "Halloween has got to be different this year"
On Tuesday, Durham mayor Steve Schewel gave guidelines for celebrating the holiday in the city.
Guidance for celebrating the Halloween included discouraging traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating.
Schewel said his own neighborhood was a "Halloween magnet," and that over the past few years 1,500 kids had come to his porch for candy.
Schewel said he did not want Halloween to become a "superspreader event."
Instead, city leaders recommended small groups of families, wearing a cloth mask, not just a Halloween mask, get together for contact-less trick-or-treating.
Barriers, cones and Durham police officers will not be provided to manage Halloween traffic on Oct. 31.
Families in neighborhoods that typically draw large crowds are asked to keep their porch light off, which in past years was a traditional signal for a Halloween welcome.
Truck-or-treat events, where people can go from car to car receiving candy, are also discouraged because of the large number of people it tends to draw.
Instead, faith communities and civic groups are encouraged to set up drive-through Halloween events.
Durham Parks and Recreation will hold contact-less Halloween and Fall Festival events this year. While events are free and open to the public, registration is limited to prevent large crowds. Preregistration will be required to attend the events.
Traditional trick-or-treating, indoor parties discouraged in Raleigh
In a recent interview with CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci said safe holiday celebrations will look different depending on where you live. Some places in he country have lower virus case counts, while states like North Carolina are trending higher.
"For some people in this country, you’ll be able to have a relatively normal Thanksgiving, in other areas of this country you’ll have to hold off, maybe just have immediate family," he said.
Before Thanksgiving comes Halloween, and Raleigh leaders met Tuesday to discuss what local celebrations should look like based on strict guidance the CDC offered last month.
Leaders planned to follow the same guidelines as Durham including asking for all trunk-or-treat events to be canceled, discouraging traditional trick-or-treating, asking people to avoid crowded indoor parties and traveling to festivals this year.
Normally, Gov. Roy Cooper and his wife pass out candy to children at Governor's Mansion on Halloween, but there has been no announcement about this year.
For now, there are not any planned events for Halloween in Raleigh.