Halloween 2020

Harvard Global Health Institute offers more Halloween advice on how to celebrate safely

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Get your costume on! Halloween is happening - and promises to be a once in a lifetime experience this year. Pic: GettyImages
Get your costume on! Halloween is happening - and promises to be a once in a lifetime experience this year. Pic: GettyImages

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As cities and counties across the US begin to announce guidance on Halloween, new safety guidelines in alignment with the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, and the Harvard Global Health Institute map has been issued to help families celebrate the season safely.

The Hershey Company has been following the steady increases in online searches by consumers on how to celebrate Halloween safely this season and has been inspired by different organizations pooling their resources to offer best guidance amid a year of high uncertainty.

Halloween is more important than ever this year as we navigate the new normal together and are seeking opportunities to celebrate safely. We’re inspired by the public-private partnerships and groups coming together that all have a shared value of celebrating Halloween safely​,” said Chuck Raup, president, US, The Hershey Company and National Confectioners Association (NCA) board member.

Navigating the upcoming Halloween holiday in the time of COVID-19 is going to be a different experience for many living in North America.

The Halloween and Costume Association has announced new tools and resources to help families, including a color-coded COVID risk level map – provided by the Harvard Global Health Institute – that details COVID risk level by county across the country, as well as new Halloween Safety Guidelines for the 2020 season, in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) social distancing guidelines.

Celebration alternatives

These guidelines and map are available on Halloween2020.org​, with other features including social distancing suggestions and celebration alternatives, a Safe House Pledge and printable certificate.

We are on a mission to ensure the safest Halloween celebration possible this year and want to make sure families and communities have access to the best, up-to-date guidance that prioritizes community safety​,” said Kevin Johnson, Halloween & Costume Association chairman and chief excitement officer at Elope.

The color-coded map developed by the Harvard Global Health Institute, along with our guidelines and additional website resources, can help ensure families find fun, yet safe ways to celebrate this season​.”

Consistent safety guidance

Like Hershey, the National Retail Federation, UNICEF, Spirit, fun.com and the NCA​ have joined together in promoting a safe Halloween. Businesses, non-profit organizations and local communities are encouraged to sign-on as supporters to ensure clear and consistent safety guidance for Halloween-lovers across the country.

Families and policy-makers need clear and consistent information when it comes to COVID-19 risks to inform decision-making, including how to participate safely in the upcoming Halloween holiday and trick-or-treating activities associated with it​,” said Dr Ingrid Katz, Infectious Diseases expert, and Associate Faculty Director at the Harvard Global Health Institute.

Through our interactive COVID risk level map, we hope to provide parents a reliable source to help them celebrate the Halloween holiday in the most safe, fun way possible according to the risk level in their community​.”

In addition to the official social distancing guidelines and the interactive map, Halloween2020.org visitors will have the opportunity to take the Safe House Pledge. A printable certificate can then be displayed providing assurance to neighbors that proper safety measures are in place.

Once in a lifetime experience

Even with the extra precautions and adjustments needed to ensure a safe celebration, this year still promises to be a once in a lifetime experience. In fact, a Halloween such as this won’t happen again for at least another 152 years. Not only does Halloween 2020 fall on a Saturday, it also happens to be a full moon and daylight savings time, a bonus for night owls.

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