NBC 6 Responds

Health Experts Offer Tips for Safer Halloween Trick-or-Treating

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky recently recommended families limit crowds and trick-or-treat outside if possible

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The nation’s top infectious disease expert says outdoor trick-or-treating could be a relatively safe activity.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said vaccinated Americans should feel comfortable celebrating Halloween during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

He also recommended unvaccinated parents get vaccinated, saying it would add an extra degree of protection. It’s just one of the many recommendations coming from health experts this holidays season.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky recently recommended families limit crowds and trick-or-treat outside if possible.

Other safety protocols include wearing a mask in indoor public spaces and at crowded outdoor festivities.

NBC 6 Responds spoke with Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Aileen Marty about Halloween safety. She recommends parents keep in mind that a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.

“There is still a risk to the children and we did see a lot of hospitalization in children over the summer, so parents should be worried about this,” Dr. Marty said.

With a COVID vaccine not yet available for kids under 12, she says parents should take precautions.

“Although the CDC has recommended a cloth mask it is actually better to use a surgical mask,” Dr. Marty said.

Instead of handing out your candy, she says a safer option can be setting up a table or location where the treats can be displayed and picked up.

This will allow kids to grab the treats without any person-to-person contact.

“This virus is transmitted from human-to-human, so the more humans you have together, the more there is chance one of those humans will be shedding virus around other people,” Dr. Marty said.

 Many parents are debating how they will celebrate this year.

“All the little kids from the family are going to do a Halloween party,” parent Susan Zuniga said.

Yvette Capella is a grandmother of two. She says with the threat of COVID still looming, she plans on keeping her little ones inside.

“The plans that we have are to just do something in the house. They like the idea of making cookies,” Capella said.

Dr. Marty says those planning to attend Halloween festivities should be aware of your communities vaccination rate and safety protocols.

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