By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Getting a good scare on Halloween is welcomed. So too is the chance to get an endless amount of candy.

Eleven-year-old Jaxon Noon was deciding between an Elmo or Scooby Doo costume at a store in Coon Rapids. He just hopes people are there to greet him when he goes trick-or-treating.

“I think it will be fine if they just hand, like, they just at the door they just handed us the bowl of candy and we just took one out,” Noon said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for celebrating Halloween, stating going door to door to trick-or-treat and handing the candy is high risk for spreading COVID-19. But leaving an individual bag of candy for kids to grab is only a moderate risk.

“I’m not sure if people are gonna hand out candy, if they’re gonna answer the door or if there will just be a big bowl that everybody dumps into their bag the first stop they get,” Jaxon’s mom Amy said. “We are hoping that the kids will be able to get together and go around the neighborhood.”

Visiting a haunted house indoors is also considered high risk, partly because people are often screaming. Indoor costume parties also made the high-risk list. Outdoor costume parties with a small group is moderate risk.

Low-risk activities including pumpkin carving at home, doing a virtual costume contest and putting Halloween decorations around your house.

When it comes to masks, the CDC said the Halloween version should not be a replacement cloth mask, unless the Halloween mask has multiple layers over the mouth.

Anoka is the self-proclaimed “Halloween Capital of the World,” and Liz McFardland is the president of the city’s celebration this year. She has the tall task of helping coordinate the event’s 100th anniversary that now carries the concerns of a pandemic.

“Halloween is what you make of it,” McFardland said.

The Grand Day Parade that can draw up to 60,000 people will now be split up into several locations.

“We’re really trying to watch that gathering rule that the governor has spoken about a lot, and creating a drive-by experience, and some foot traffic in really controlled areas,” McFardland said.

Costume contests that were indoors will instead be outside, while other events like the medallion search have gone virtual via Facebook.

McFarland said they’re doing everything they can to make events safe while keeping the Halloween spirit alive.

“It’s going to be different, but make the most of it,” she said.

A spokesperson said the Minnesota Department of Health is evaluating the CDC’s guidelines for Halloween, and will address how to proceed during Wednesday’s COVID-19 conference call.

Click here for the full list of CDC guidelines.

Jeff Wagner

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