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Health

North Carolina's Halloween Guidelines Warn Against Trick-Or-Treating

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Halloween in North Carolina will “have to look a little different” this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to state Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen. 

 

“As you think about what you want to be for Halloween, think about how you’re going to incorporate a face covering or a mask as part of that costume,” Cohen said during a news conference Wednesday. 

She said when celebrating, people should still follow the state's coronavirus guidelines, like wearing a mask in public, staying six feet apart from others and washing their hands regularly.

Last week, the state health department released guidance for Halloween adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It lists things like traditional trick-or-treating and crowded indoor costume parties as “higher risk activities.”

“Particularly what I’m worried about is parties that are indoors,” Cohen said, adding that the state’s mass gathering limit remains 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. “We’ve seen over and over that this virus can spread easily in groups of people.”

Moderate-risk alternatives to the usual celebrations, according to the state guidance, include “no or low-touch” trick-or-treating, lining up individually wrapped goodie bags that families can collect themselves from a safe social distance or outdoor costume parties where people can stay six feet apart.

Cohen said each family should evaluate its own risk and make decisions for the holiday accordingly. 

Carving or decorating pumpkins with household members, hosting a virtual costume contest or screening Halloween movies with people you live with are all considered “lower risk.”