The Ohio Department of Health "is strongly recommending" that hayrides and haunted houses be canceled or avoided because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it hasn't banned them.
The guidelines also suggest decorating houses and hiding treats outside.
ODH said having small Halloween parties with 10 or fewer people in an outdoor setting where social distancing is achievable is safe, but party games such as bobbing for apples or other activities that can easily spread the virus should be avoided.
As governors and mayors across the USA consult their public health departments on how to strike the right balance between safety and time-honoured traditions, NCA is working with top public health experts, nutrition professionals, and the CDC to help them and their constituents take the guesswork out Halloween.
However, if trick-or-treaters end up hitting the streets, they should not wear a costume mask as a replacement for their virus-related mask or in addition to one, the CDC said. Another possibility, though it carries moderate risk, is "one-way" trick-or-treating, with separately wrapped treats picked up by families at a safe distance, like at the edge of a driveway or yard.
When holding trick-or-treat events this year, ODH recommends Ohioans use caution, opting for socially distant ways to pass out and collect candy.
Lower-risk activities include pumpkin carving within your household, or doing it outside at a safe distance from neighbours and friends.
Experts note that costume masks should not be substituted for cloth masks because they are not as protective. The CDC says an open-air scare-fest is moderately risky, so long as the route is one-way, people wear masks appropriately and stay 6 feet apart. Instead, consider a Halloween-themed cloth mask, the CDC suggests.
'A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn't leave gaps around the face, ' the CDC writes. But there's a caveat: "If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised".