Halloween (COVID-19)

pumpkin with DHEC logo cut out

Celebrating Halloween

To safely celebrate Halloween this year, DHEC recommends outdoor, no-contact events that are low-risk for disease transmission. Drive-through events, one-directional haunted trails, outdoor pumpkin patches and creative methods for handing out candy can be safe alternatives for celebrating. Follow these tips to avoid the scare of being exposed to or spreading COVID-19.

Costume masks

  • Don’t use a costume mask as a substitute for a cloth mask unless it’s made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers your mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around your face.
  • Don’t wear a costume mask over a cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider making or purchasing a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

Trick-or-treating

  • Trick-or-treating can occur safely if everyone properly wears protective masks and stays six feet away from others
  • Keep your mask on at all times
  • If there’s already a group of kids at one door, wait until they leave before approaching
  • Skip houses that don’t have precautions in place
  • Consider organizing trick-or-treating events within communities where those participating have agreed to follow masking and social distancing precautions

Handing out candy

  • Use prepackaged candy only
  • Offer hand sanitizer outside your door
  • The safest approach would be to offer bundled packages of candy that each trick-or-treater can collect for themselves
  • Don’t allow dozens of hands to reach into the same candy bowl
  • Use tongs to remove the candy from the bowl and drop it into each trick-or-treater’s bag
  • Wear a mask when you open the door and limit time in close contact
  • Wash your hands frequently

Halloween parties

  • Halloween parties that involve people outside your household are discouraged. If you want to have a Halloween party, keep it small and invite only immediate family members
  • Outside events would be lower risk than inside events
  • Wear your protective mask
  • Stay six feet away from others
  • When eating or drinking, replace your protective mask immediately. You’re at highest risk for COVID-19 transmission with your mask off
  • Avoid any no-mask parties. These have been shown to be extremely high risk for COVID-19 transmission
  • Have all eating and drinking outside and avoid buffet-style eating. Have one person serve food and have separate tables for each family

Haunted houses, festivals and other attractions

  • Plan ahead and refer to CDC guidance for evaluating the risk level for these types of activities
  • Keep in mind that any event expecting attendance to be greater than 250 people must go through the mass gatherings event exception process established by Executive Order of the Governor and led by the S.C. Department of Commerce. 
  • Be sure to wear a mask, bring hand sanitizer and stay socially distanced by six feet or more
  • Screaming and shouting can propel more virus and may increase risk of transmission to those close by and extend to those beyond six feet

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COVID-19