Halloween is just a few days away, and this year, it converges with a full moon, a blue moon, daylight saving time, and falls on a Saturday.
It’s also happening during a global pandemic.
In September, Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine released guidelines for communities regarding Halloween celebrations and said “face coverings must be worn.” But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not just any face covering.
Ironically, this is the one time you shouldn’t wear a costume mask. The CDC cautions against a costume mask unless “it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers your mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around your face,” adding that it is “not a substitute for a cloth mask,” which Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts says is a must-have, to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
“We know masks are effective,” Roberts said. “So when we’re going out trick-or-treating, just like when we’re going out to do our errands, and do other activities, we should make sure we have that mask on. I encourage you to incorporate that mask that we’ve been wearing into your costume, so that you only have to wear one mask.”
When it comes to fright night festivities, the CDC lists traditional trick-or-treat as a high-risk activity for spreading COVID-19. But it is not prohibited in Central Ohio.
So, if you plan to snag some sweets, do so cautiously.
“After you go trick-or-treating, and before you start consuming any of the candy, you want to make sure you wash your hands,” Roberts said.
Most importantly, if you or anyone else in your household is sick, you should not be trick-or-treating, nor should you be giving out candy.
There are also some fun, family-friendly, and low-risk alternatives to celebrating this year, on the Columbus Public Health website.