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St. Louis to announce health guidance on Halloween Thursday

The CDC recommends avoiding trick-or-treating this year due to the coronavirus pandemic

ST. LOUIS — The City of St. Louis will announce health guidance amid the coronavirus pandemic for Halloween on Thursday.

Mayor Lyda Krewson and Dr. Fredrick Echols, Acting Director of the Department of Health, will hold a press conference at 11:45 a.m. at City Hall.

Earlier this month, the CDC said it recommends avoiding trick-or-treating.

RELATED: CDC discouraging traditional Halloween trick-or-treating this year due to COVID-19

It also said many Halloween activities are “high risk” for spreading the virus, including the following:

  • Having trunk-or-treat events where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors.
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming.
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not from your household.
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which may cloud your judgment and increase the possibility of risky behavior.
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

Moderate risk activities, according to the CDC:

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
    • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. 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.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives, according to the CDC:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing 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
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

RELATED: How you can safely celebrate Halloween in St. Louis this year

RELATED: St. Louis pandemic task force says people with COVID-19 do not need to get retested after being cleared from quarantine