Group issues Halloween 2020 guidelines, coronavirus risk map

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People shop for Halloween items at a home improvement retailer store in Alhambra, California on September 9, 2020. – Halloween and Christmas are two of the top spending holidays in the United States but retailers are spooked by Halloween this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Los Angeles County warning that trick-o-treat is not recommended and advises strongly against it. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

CHICAGO (NEXSTAR) — What will Halloween look like this year? One thing’s for sure. It will no doubt be different than years past.

Halloween 2020 converges with a full moon, a blue moon, Daylight Saving Time — and it falls on a Saturday.

Of course, the holiday is also happening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, the Halloween and Costume Association (HCA) issued resources and an interactive map to help families stay safe this Halloween.

The group created an interactive map on its website with color-coded risk levels for each county throughout the country. There are four risk levels: green, yellow, orange, and red — with green representing the least amount of risk and red being the most. The colors are based on the current COVID-19 case and death count data.

Graphic courtesy Harvard Global Health Institute

According to HCA, the map was developed by the Harvard Global Health Institute.

“Families and policy-makers need clear and consistent information when it comes to COVID-19 risks to inform decision-making, including how to participate safely in the upcoming Halloween holiday and trick-or-treating activities associated with it,” said Dr. Ingrid Katz, Infectious Diseases Expert, and Associate Faculty Director at the Harvard Global Health Institute.

They also have recommended activities based on the risk zone.

Green Zone

In the green zone, HCA says trick or treating can proceed normally, as long as social distancing guidelines are in place. Small parties with close friends are OK as well.

Yellow Zone

In the yellow zone, trick or treating is still possible, but HCA says to make sure the places you are visiting follow safety protocols so you can stay safe. Any partygoers should be wearing face masks indoors.

Orange Zone

In the orange zone, HCA recommends “trick or treat in reverse!” This means that kids can get dressed up in their favorite costumes and hang out in their front yards, and neighbors can walk or drive by and deliver candy to kids. Parties should be outdoors only with social distancing guidelines followed.

Red Zone

In the red zone, trick or treating is not recommended. HCA says there are too many risks involved. Instead, they recommend Zoom parties, Netflix parties, and setting up candy stations inside and outside of the house for kids to discover throughout the night.

HCA advises that you use the map to make sure your county is safe and follow social distancing guidelines.

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