Is it OK to go trick-or-treating during the pandemic?

Whether you decide to go trick-or-treating with your family in the pandemic might depend on your situation and comfort level

By EMMA H. TOBIN Associated Press

October 28, 2021, 9:18 AM

• 2 min read

NEW YORK — Is it OK to go trick-or-treating during the pandemic?

It depends on the situation and your comfort level, but there are ways to minimize the risk of infection this Halloween.

Whether you feel comfortable with your children trick-or-treating could depend on factors such as how high the COVID-19 transmission rate is in your area and if the people you will be exposed to are vaccinated.

But trick-or-treating is an outdoor activity that makes it easy to maintain a physical distance, notes Emily Sickbert-Bennett, an infectious disease expert at the University of North Carolina. To prevent kids crowding in front of doors, she suggests neighbors coordinating to spread out trick-or-treating.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says outdoor activities are safer for the holidays and avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces. If you attend a party inside, the agency says people who aren’t vaccinated — including children who aren’t yet eligible for the shots — should wear a well-fitting mask, not just a Halloween costume mask. In areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates, even the fully vaccinated should wear masks inside.

It’s generally safe for children to ring doorbells and collect candy since the coronavirus spreads mainly through respiratory droplets, and the risk of infection from surfaces is considered low. But it’s still a good idea to bring along hand sanitizer that kids can use before eating treats.

Having a mask on hand when you open the door to pass out candy is essential for adults.

“You probably won’t necessarily know until you open the door how many people will be out there, whether they’ll be wearing masks, what age they’ll be, and how great they’ll be at keeping distance from you,” Sickbert-Bennett says.

Another option if you won’t want to be extra cautious: Set up candy bowls away from front doors.

The AP is answering your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them at: FactCheck@AP.org. Read more here:

What’s the latest advice on the type of mask I should wear?

Can I get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time?

Can new variants of the coronavirus keep emerging?

Tyson Houlding
Tyson Houlding is a 28-year-old associate at a law firm who enjoys walking, writing, and learning new languages. He is creative and bright, but can also be very unfriendly and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian who defines himself as straight. He has a post-graduate degree in law.