MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The spooky Halloween season is upon us, but due to the pandemic year, the Mayo Clinic is recommending against going trick-or-treating.

“The traditional Halloween celebration of trick-or-treating and going door-to-door unfortunately carries risk of transmission of COVID-19,” said Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious disease specialist.

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The main reason trick-or-treating, and even trunk-or-treating activities are discouraged is because they make it difficult to maintain social distance. They also involve touching and exchanging candy, which contributes to risk of infection.

Indoor Halloween parties are not recommended either, because of the high risk of exposure and infection.

“We know that transmission of the virus occurs relatively easily, especially in indoor setting where people are in close contact with each other,” said Rajapakse. “This means not meeting indoors with large groups of people is another way to reduce the risk of transmission.”

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Instead, Mayo Clinic recommends other, low-risk options for Halloween, such as carving pumpkins, virtual costume contests and movie nights, and scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat inside the home. With all these events, the clinic recommends doing them with members of the household.

“Having activities outdoors instead of indoors is another way to reduce the risk of transmission. But, unfortunately, there’s no way to reduce the risk to zero anytime you have people from different households interacting, especially given the amount of transmission we’re seeing in our communities still,” says Rajapakse.

With outdoor Halloween activities, Mayo Clinic recommends still maintaining social distance and wearing a mask.

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