The Halloween and Costume Association, The Hershey Company and other partner organizations have joined forces to provide guidance on how best to celebrate Halloween safely this year. The Halloween Safety guidelines - available on Halloween2020.org - are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Holiday Celebrations Guidelines, and includes a color-coded COVID risk level map, provided by the Harvard Global Health Institute.
"Families and policy-makers need clear and consistent information when it comes to COVID-19 risks to inform decision-making. This includes how to participate safely in the upcoming Halloween holiday, the and trick-or-treating activities associated with it." said Dr. Ingrid Katz, Infectious Diseases Expert and Associate Faculty Director at the Harvard Global Health Institute. "Through our interactive COVID risk level map, we hope to provide parents a reliable source to help them celebrate the Halloween holiday in the most safe, fun way possible according to the risk level in their community."
With most of the country in the moderate risk category, it's likely that many communities and families will find new ways to celebrate this year, including neighborhood trick-or-treat drive-ups, reverse trick-or-treating, and neighborhood or backyard candy hunts. These creative celebration ideas allow for fun and safety to remain a top priority.
"Halloween is more important than ever this year as we navigate the new normal together and are seeking opportunities to celebrate safely. We're inspired by the public-private partnerships and groups coming together that all have a shared value of celebrating Halloween safely." says Chuck Raup, president, U.S., The Hershey Company.
The takeaway: There are many fun and safe ways to celebrate this Halloween season, from carving pumpkins to having Halloween-themed movie nights with your favorite Halloween treats like Hershey's, Reese's, and Kit Kat.
Focus on trick-or-treat safety. A Halloween neighborhood parade is a good option for yellow zones. Organize a neighborhood costume parade where the route is predetermined and marked to maintain safe distances between participants. Stay safe by incorporating sanitization stations, yellow caution tape, 6-foot sidewalk stickers/tape, and age group signs. Or, do the reverse and have kids decked out in their costumes in the front yard as neighbors walk or drive by and deliver candy from a safe distance.
For orange-zone communities, let the treats come to you. Trick-or-treat in reverse by having kids wear their costumes in the front yard as neighbors walk or drive by and deliver candy. Another option is a trick-or-treat drive-by where you wear costumes and then drive to visit friends and family in costume and deliver some treats! Honk, text, or shout upon arrival and deliver some treats - or tricks - in costume to your favorite folks!
At-home celebrations are safest for red zones. Consider planning a Halloween movie night or a virtual costume party. You can also make this a special time with a scavenger hunt throughout your home. Create different themed rooms throughout the house and send the kids on a scavenger hunt for fun swag by hiding candy, toys, and prizes. Or you can even make some gift certificates to stay up late, choose the movie, or eat an extra piece of candy. Keep the big kids engaged with trickier clues and fun age-appropriate rewards.