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Keep your distance this Halloween, especially if screaming is likely to occur, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently issued its guidelines for a safe Halloween holiday free from the fear of COVID-19. 

“The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus,” when it comes to the chance of screaming, according to the guidelines posted on That puts haunted houses and costume parties in the high-risk category along with hayrides, tractor rides, trick-or-treating, and even trunk-or-treating. 

Moderate-risk activities include one-way trick-or-treating, where individually wrapped treats are left outside for grab-and-go goblins. Also in the moderate-risk category: 

  • socially distanced costume parades
  • outdoor costume parties
  • haunted trail or forest walkthroughs
  • visiting pumpkin patches or orchards
  • Halloween movie night 

Lower-risk activities include carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household, decorating your home, movie night with the people you live with, or a virtual Halloween costume contest. 

Another fun idea from the CDC is to have a scavenger hunt treat-or-treat with household members in or around your home in place of traditional treat-or-treating. 

The bottom line is that the threat of COVID-19 remains, so precautions are necessary to help stop the spread: wear a mask (a Halloween must anyway!), stay at least 6 feet apart from people not in your household, wash your hands often, and use hand sanitizer.