The Mayo Clinic has spoken: trick-or-treating, whether door-to-door or in a parking lot, is not recommended by medical experts this year.
The Rochester-based renowned medical institution issued a statement detailing this recommendation Thursday. Instead of trick-or-treating, the Mayo Clinic doctors recommend, families should consider focusing on ways to celebrate within their own household.
"The traditional Halloween celebration of trick-or-treating and going door to door unfortunately carries risk of transmission of COVID-19," Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases specialist, said in a statement.
"This year, we are discouraging participating in any activities that significantly increase your risk of transmission or exposure to the infection."
Of course, the Mayo Clinic is also reminding the public not to host indoor Halloween parties. If multiple households decide to participate in events together, they should host it outdoors while maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask, as well as remembering to maintain clean hands, according to the press release.
"Having activities outdoors instead of indoors is also another way to reduce the risk of transmission. But, unfortunately, there's no way to reduce the risk to zero anytime you have people from different households interacting, especially given the amount of transmission we're seeing in our communities still," Dr. Rajapakse said.
Mayo Clinic-approved Halloween activities include:
- Pumpkin carving with members of your household
- Halloween movie nights within your household
- Spooky arts & crafts; decor
- Virtual Halloween costume test
- Creating a scavenger hunt with treats for members of your household in or near your home
"This holiday season is going to be like no other we have had before. We're still in the midst of this pandemic. We are seeing rates of infection that are at their highest in some parts of the country than they have been, since we started all of this," Dr. Rajapakse said in the statement.