BEMIDJI -- Halloween is nearly upon us, and, while it’s a day to celebrate all things spooky, don’t let COVID-19 scare you out of enjoying the holiday altogether.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating should be avoided this Halloween, as it can be a high-risk activity for spreading viruses.

But these CDC-recommended lower risk activities can be safe alternatives that still encourage a festive atmosphere on Halloween:

  • Carve or decorate pumpkins with members of your household and display them.

  • Carve or decorate pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends.

  • Decorate your house, apartment or living space.

  • Do 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.

  • Have a virtual Halloween costume contest.

  • Have a Halloween movie night with people you live with.

  • Have a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home, rather than going house to house.

Baking Halloween-themed cupcakes is a safe alternative activity to trick-or-treating this year. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
Baking Halloween-themed cupcakes is a safe alternative activity to trick-or-treating this year. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

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However, if you do decide to venture out on Halloween, be sure to avoid large groups and social distance from people not in your household. If trick-or-treating, individuals should wear a cloth mask and not reach into a bowl to grab candy.

Decorative spiders, pumpkins and a skeleton adorn a home along Birchmont Drive Northeast. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
Decorative spiders, pumpkins and a skeleton adorn a home along Birchmont Drive Northeast. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

People who are handing out treats this year should consider ways to reduce contact with others, such as putting treats in individual bags that can be distributed to trick-or-treaters with limited face-to-face contact.

Tips from the CDC to stay safe on Halloween

If trick-or-treating on Halloween, the CDC recommends that individuals continue wearing cloth masks to lessen the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Photo by Shutterstock
If trick-or-treating on Halloween, the CDC recommends that individuals continue wearing cloth masks to lessen the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Photo by Shutterstock


  • Wear a mask. A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult. Masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing.

  • Social distance. Stay at least six feet away from others who do not live with you.

  • Sanitize and wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer, with at least 60% alcohol, after touching objects or other people when in public. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.