Halloween 2020

Halloween update: NCA issues reminder on staying safe as CVS Pharmacy and Hershey distribute 1M ‘Boo-Bags’ to families

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: CVS Pharmacy
Pic: CVS Pharmacy

Related tags Halloween Hershey Nca

Hershey’s free bags offer a fun and safe alternative to trick-or-treating, as NCA health consultant Dr Stephen Ostroff issues reminder on protocols for this year’s event.

CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, has announced it is working with the Hershey Company to offer Boo-Bags, a family friendly and socially distanced solution to making Halloween as safe and fun as possible in the time of COVID-19.

Boo-Bags are a fill-your-own kit to surprise friends and neighbors with Halloween treats as an alternative to traditional trick-or-treating during the pandemic - and will be distributed to select CVS Pharmacy stores nationwide in an effort to ensure the health and safety of customers while also promoting the surprise and delight of the season.

The tie-up was announced as the National Confectioners Association (NCA) issued a reminder of the advice from Dr Stephen Ostroff, who served as the FDA’s deputy commissioner and chief scientist and as the deputy director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The NCA is working closely with Dr Ostroff “to help Americans take the guesswork out of Halloween 2020​”.

Dr Ostroff’s advice includes:

1.​ Halloween is traditionally an outdoor holiday and the one time of the year when kids want to wear a mask. This is the year to get creative with face coverings. This is not the year to buck tradition by holding large indoor events, including parties. After all, proper ventilation and airflow are rarely an issue when outside. Work with your child to think of ways to integrate clever, while still protective, face coverings into their Halloween costume. Consider holding a small outdoor gathering of children with required physical distancing in the yard or elsewhere in the neighborhood. Even a small pageant or parade can be held safely outdoors if six feet of physical distancing is maintained.

2.​ Physical distancing is just as important during Halloween as it is during the rest of the year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean kids have to be socially distant if they can stay at least six feet apart. 

3.​ Trick-or-treating can safely be done at households you know and can alert ahead of time so that adequate distancing is practiced. Your child gets to show off their costume to neighbors, relatives, and friends. And the treats can even be placed outside beforehand so your child doesn’t need to come in direct contact with the people inside. 

4.​ Although there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted by food or food packaging, personal hygiene is still important during Halloween. Bring hand sanitizer if attending an outdoor event or going trick-or-treating. Use it frequently to keep your child’s hands clean, including before opening a package.

5.​ This year, it’s more important than ever that any treats you distribute or your child receives are packaged and not loose or open. If you venture out on Halloween night, bring along a package of disinfectant wipes for added peace of mind. 

'Boo' a neighbor

Hershey’s Boo-Bags are free with a CVS Pharmacy purchase while supplies last. To “boo” a neighbor, fill the Boo-Bag with Reese’s​, KITKAT​, other Hershey’s​ favorites and Halloween items found throughout CVS and deliver a holiday surprise by anonymously dropping the bag on their doorstep.

Recipients will receive directions on how to pass it forward, along with a sign to place in their window to let any passerby know that they’ve been “boo’ed.”

For friends and family outside the neighborhood, customers can send Boo-Bags through one of 5,600 UPS Access Point locations within CVS nationwide, picking up all the necessary shipping supplies for one-stop shopping.

Throughout this month, CVS Pharmacy will be providing its email subscribers, circular readers and social followers with tips and information for how to best celebrate Halloween 2020, featuring safety guidelines (www.halloween2020.org​) provided by the Halloween and Costume Association – in alignment with the CDC social distancing guidelines – and tools/resources to help families this Halloween season, including a color-coded COVID risk level map provided by the Harvard Global Health Institute.

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