State Public-health Officials Offer Tips for a Safe and Healthy Halloween

BOSTON — For residents planning to celebrate Halloween, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is providing safety tips to help limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19. DPH is also reminding residents and communities to be aware that Halloween activities are subject to the current state gathering-size limits as well as applicable sector-specific workplace-safety standards.

Consistent with the Halloween activity guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some recommendations include:

• Enjoy Halloween outside rather than attending indoor events.

• Place candy on a platter instead of a bowl.

• Instead of traditional trick-or-treating, opt for one-way trick-or-treating, with treats placed outside of the home for trick-or-treaters as a ‘grab and go’ while keeping distance from others.

• Consider leaving hand sanitizer by any treats left out for trick-or-treaters to use.

• Wear a face mask or face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face mask or face covering. To protect yourself and others, wear a protective face mask or covering instead of or in addition to a costume mask.

• Observe good hand hygiene, including hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy.

• Refrain from touching your face.

• Decorate your yard for others to enjoy from their car or while on a socially distanced walk.

• Hold virtual costume contests or pumpkin-carving events.

• Celebrate with members of your household with a Halloween-themed meal, Halloween movie night, or a Halloween scavenger hunt.

• Maintain social distancing of at least six feet from all other participants who are not members of the same household.

• Avoid crowded costume parties held indoors, or any gatherings that exceed indoor or outdoor gathering limits; indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming; and hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.

• Stay home and refrain from Halloween activities, including handing out Halloween treats, if you feel unwell, you have tested positive for COVID-19, you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19; or you have traveled to or from a state that is not classified as lower risk within the last 14 days.

In these times, many people will be working remotely. In addition to accessing Healthcare News online, readers may wish to add their home address. To do this, e-mail, visit, or call 413.781.8600.