Dr. Anthony Fauci has given the OK for outdoor trick-or-treating this Halloween.
Traditional Halloween celebrations were discouraged last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor, told CNN:
“Particularly if you’re vaccinated, you can get out there — you’re outdoors for the most part I mean ... and enjoy it. This is a time that children love.
"If you're not vaccinated, think about it that you'll add an extra degree of protection to yourself and your children, and your family and your community. So it's a good time to reflect on why it's important to get vaccinated but go out there and enjoy Halloween as well as the other holidays that will be coming up."
This message of normalcy comes as cases, hospitalizations and deaths are trending downward nationally after a late-summer surge fueled by the delta variant. However, in Minnesota, cases are still rising. In fact, cases are rising faster in Minnesota than anywhere else in the U.S., driven largely by substantial increases in many greater Minnesota counties.
Related [Oct. 4]: Here are the CDC's COVID-19 guidelines for the holidays this year
Fauci told CNN on Sunday daily COVID-19 cases are "trending in the right direction," adding: "Hopefully it's going to continue to go in that trajectory downward," noting he'd like to see new daily cases well below 100,000 nationally (on Sunday, they were at 93,814).
"We have to just be careful that we don't prematurely declare victory in many respects. We still have around 68 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated that have not yet gotten vaccinated," Fauci told CNN.
Fauci also said data on the Pfizer coronavirus vaccination for kids under 12 will be before the FDA "relatively soon," which, if approved, would provide greater protection from the virus for everyone.
As of Oct. 6, 58.4% of Minnesota's total population, including children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for the vaccine, has completed the vaccine series. That jumps to 69.1% when excluding kids under the age of 12.
Nationally, 66% of the population 12 and older have completed the vaccine series. If you look at the total U.S. population, 56.4% is fully vaccinated.