The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Monday night issued its first guidance for the holidays, including Halloween, amid the coronavirus pandemic in a new posting on its website according to CNN.

Door-to-door trick-or-treating and costume masks and parties are discouraged this year due to the pandemic, the CDC said.
"Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses," the agency said in its posting. "There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. "The new guidance lists "low-risk, moderate and higher risk activities" for celebrating All Hallow's Eve.
Low-risk activities are encouraged which include carving pumpkins, decorating your home for Halloween, outdoor scavenger hunts, virtual costume contests and hosting a movie night with members of your household.
Moderate-risk things to do include so-called "one-way trick-or-treating" ...exchanging goody bags placed at the end of a driveway, or having a small group outside for an "open-air costume parade" where participants are at least 6-feet apart.
A note here regarding Halloween masks. "A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask," the CDC said. "A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn't leave gaps."
 Pumpkin patches or orchard visits and outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends are OK and encouraged in the Moderate-risk category.
The CDC is warning Higher-risk activities should be avoided including door-to-door trick-or-treating, attending crowded, indoor costume parties, visiting indoor haunted houses or going on hayrides or tractors rides that include participants other than family members.
"When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees," the CDC warned.
The agency said the new guidelines are not meant to replace any local or state mandates on the pandemic.

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