In our September/October issue of the magazine, we wrote an article, “Enough Tricks, Only Treats!”, about how to navigate traditional fall events, such as pumpkin patches, and Halloween alongside the pandemic.
While we received some excellent advice from Collierville community members and business owners, we also wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of the official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines when it came to Halloween, which were released on September 22nd. For trick-or-treating and other fall activities, the CDC has established three categories: lower risk, moderate risk and higher risk.
Lower risk activities include carving pumpkins with members of your household or at a safe distance from neighbors and friends, decorating your home and an outdoor Halloween themed scavenger hunt. As always, any activity that includes just members of your household – such as a costume contest or Halloween movie night – are always safer than having extended contact with non-household individuals.
This means that the Town of Collierville’s festive fall decor on the Collierville Town Square can be enjoyed by all since it’s outdoors and there’s plenty of room to be socially distant from each other. Just remember to wear your mask!
You can also venture out to Collierville United Methodist Church’s Family Fall Festival on October 24th! From 2-5pm, you can sign up for an hour time slot to join the church for socially distanced fall activities, such as pumpkin golf, pumpkin painting, a candy wall and much more. Don’t forget to wear your masks! See all the details here.
Moderate risk activities include trick-or-treating with individually wrapped goody bags lined up for kids to grab and go, having an outdoor costume party while wearing masks and socially distancing, or visiting pumpkin patches as long as people wear masks, remain socially distant and use hand sanitizer before touching any pumpkins.
In our article, Lynn Ward, owner of Lynn Ward Wellness LLC, suggested having an outdoor and socially-distanced Halloween parade with neighbors or families from school, which we think sounds like a ghostly good time and falls under the CDC’s recommended guidelines!
The CDC does not recommend wearing both a Halloween mask and a protective mask at the same time. Instead, find a fun Halloween themed protective mask to complete your look! (If you’re worried about ruining the integrity of your costume, don’t worry – it’s been a weird year for everyone.)
Higher risk activities include traditional trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating, indoor costume parties, indoor haunted houses, hayrides with non-household members and traveling to a fall event outside of your community. At this time, there is no way to engage 100% safely while participating in these activities.
Make sure to know what your risks are before you participate in any fall event or activity, wear a mask, social distance, use hand sanitizer and help your Collierville community stay safe throughout the fall season!
See Collierville Halloween suggestions here and the CDC’s full guide to holidays here
UPDATE: On October 15th, at 1:00pm, the Shelby County Health Department released these guidelines for Halloween and trick-or-treating. These guidelines are reflected in the article above.
Trick-or-treating may be made safer by:
- Avoiding direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
- Giving out treats outdoors, if possible.
- Setting up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to pick up.
- Washing hands before handling treats.
- Wearing a mask.
“Trunk-or-treating” where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats poses similar risk to children if they do not maintain recommended social distancing. Following the recommendations listed above may make trunk-or-treating safer. Below are some safer alternatives to traditional Halloween celebrations that reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19:
- Online parties/contests (i.e. costume or pumpkin carving)
- Drive-by events, including events where individual participants remain in their vehicles.
- Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters that meet the requirements of the current Health Directive.
- Decorating homes and yards with Halloween-themed decorations.
- Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities.