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'If Screaming Will Likely Occur, Greater Distancing Is Advised'

CDC is out with Halloween suggestions, including a plea to skip trick-or-treating
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2020 1:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – You want to know what Halloween 2020 is going to be like? Consider this nugget in a list of do's and don'ts from the CDC: Heading to a "one-way, walk-through haunted forest" is fine, provided you can stay 6 feet apart from others. But then comes this only-in-2020 addendum: "If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus." Highlights from the guidelines are mostly about what not to do: As in, the CDC says people should skip traditional trick-or-treating this year, along with indoor haunted houses, indoor costume parties, hayrides, and visiting fall festivals outside your community, per USA Today.

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As for masks, the agency doesn't want people ditching protective masks for a less safe Halloween mask. Instead, "consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask." The CDC's "lower risk" suggestions include carving pumpkins at home, or at least outside if with friends, and having a virtual costume contest or a movie night with family. Or this: The agency suggests "doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance," per CNN. (The agency has backtracked from a big change in thinking on how the virus spreads.)

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