(CNN) – Leading health officials are trying to scare up at least a little bit of fun in the days leading up to Halloween.
Even as coronavirus cases spike, they’re offering last-minute ways to minimize COVID infection while acknowledging the risks.
“When the children knock on the door, it becomes a really tight, confined space with a number of people there yelling ‘trick or treat’ and that just creates that close environment that we really are trying to avoid right now,” says Erin Bromage, a biology professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
While the Centers for Disease and Prevention has already classified trick or treating as high-risk, the agency says the tradition can be made safer by:
- Wearing a mask
- Washing hands before touching treats
- Avoiding direct contact with trick or treaters
- Giving treats outdoors
- Setting up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take
“I’m really proud of what they’re doing in my neighborhood everyone is setting up tables down the end of their driveway,” Bromage said.
“Some people have put out big spiderwebs and they’re hanging the candy from the spiderwebs so the kids are still having the trick or treating experience this there’s a social aspect to it, but it’s done in a way that’s safe.”
When it comes to dressing up, the CDC says a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
The agency says not to wear a costume mask over a cloth mask.
It can make breathing more difficult.