Trick-or-treating encouraged by CDC as COVID-19 cases continue to slow

Read the recommended guidelines for the upcoming Halloweekend

Hurry to the shelves and purchase those remaining bags of candies to hand out on Halloween this year. With Covid-19 cases dropping dramatically since Sept. 15, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky encouraged Americans to get outside and celebrate the holiday.

During Walenksy’s interview with host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, she said, “I would say put on those costumes, stay outside and enjoy your trick-or-treating.“

Walensky did state however, that she wouldn’t gather in large settings outside and do screaming like you are seeing in those football games, if you are unvaccinated.

Trick-or-treating, when keeping your distance and staying outdoors, is now viewed as a safe activity for adults and children on this upcoming spooky holiday. Last fall, trick-or-treating was viewed as a moderate-risk safety activity and gathering activities were considered high-risk, causing many businesses, schools and community events to be canceled for the spooky season.

North Dakota State University did not hold any of their usual Halloween festivities last year due to the pandemic.

This year however, in accordance with the CDC guidelines, the university was able to host their BOO! at NDSU event for children to experience Halloween campus life on Sunday.

Track and field student, Trent Davis, told Valley News on Sunday, “Everything kind of got shutdown last year and I’ve known that we’ve done this in past years so it’s really good to get everybody back out. Gives the kids a chance to interact with some of the students especially for the athletes too. That’s really cool for them.”

“It’s a way for them to connect with others,” said Jen Kacere, the assistant director in leadership development for Residence Life on campus, when speaking with Valley News. “They love seeing the kids in their costumes and it’s really about showing kids what it’s like to be in college.”

The CDC seemed to be working on a trick-or-treating guide but is now redirecting people to view their celebrations page to learn how to keep families and individuals safe for the holiday season.

General ways to stay safe include getting vaccinated to protect those that are not eligible for vaccines such as young children, wearing masks while indoors, staying outdoors as much as possible and avoiding crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.

Halloween parties, bar hopping and other activities that involve large amounts of people should follow above guidelines as well.

“With no mandates in place, we recommend following CDC guidelines,” the North Dakota Department of Health said when asked about Halloween guidelines for N.D. residents. “Recommendations include those given by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stating that trick-or-treating outside in small groups is the safest plan for children.”

The NDDoH also recommends skipping Halloween parties, especially if they are indoors. Outdoor parties are safer than indoor parties but if people happen to throw or attend a Halloween gathering, they need to bring in lots of fresh air.

Opening windows and doors can improve air flow as well as running a window fan in an open window to send indoor air back outside. This will pull more fresh air in through the other open windows.

Stay safe from ghouls, goblins, vampires and the virus this Halloween season.

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