Trick-or-treating on Halloween this year has been deemed unsafe by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC has released its first COVID-19 holiday guidance, urging people to avoid traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating to prevent community transmission of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
In the guidance, the CDC lists trick-or-treating as a high-risk Halloween activity. Crowded costume parties held indoors are also considered high risk, as is going to a haunted house "where people may be crowded together and screaming," in addition to going on hayrides or tractor rides.
The Minnesota Department of Health has yet to issue Halloween guidance for Minnesotans, though Kris Ehresmann, the department's infectious disease director, said Sept. 9 that the safety of trick-or-treating during a pandemic is a "really valid issue and something that we should be looking at as we move into late October."
The only low-risk activity involving candy recommended by the CDC is to have a "scavenger hunt-style" search for treats with household members in or around your home.
What about costumes and masks?
The CDC says a Halloween mask is not a suitable replacement for a cloth mask, and that nobody should wear a cloth mask under a costume mask because it can make it hard to breathe.
"Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask," the CDC guidance says.
You can find the full lists of the CDC's low-, moderate- and high-risk activities for Halloween here.