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Red Cross: How to have a safe Halloween during pandemic

Halloween will be different this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises skipping traditional trick-or-treating and other festivities involving crowds — which are high-risk for spreading the virus. However,

there are some low-risk activities you can do instead.

“Though many traditional Halloween activities can actually put you at a high risk for viruses, there are plenty of safer ways to still enjoy the holiday,” said Jill Orton, Region Exectutive of the American Red Cross of Nebraska-Iowa. “Consider participating in spooky activities with members of your household or having others join in on the fun virtually.”

Below are the CDC’s list of activities to avoid, and recommendations to safely enjoy the holiday.


  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door

  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots

  • Attending crowded indoor costume parties

  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming

  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household

  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors

  • Traveling to a fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19


  • Carve or decorate pumpkins with members of your household

  • Carve or decorate pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends

  • Decorate your living space

  • Do a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance

  • Have a virtual Halloween costume contest

  • Have a Halloween movie night with people with whom you live

  • Have a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

While planning outdoor, socially distanced activities, use the free app Emergency for weather alerts and to let others know you are safe if severe weather occurs. Find this and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

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