Published on October 13, 2021

Is it safe to trick or treat this year?

A child in a Halloween costume wearing a face covering.

Halloween is fast approaching, and everyone is wondering what Halloween will be like this year. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, trick-or-treating is a low-risk activity.

"…particularly if you're vaccinated, you can get out there and enjoy it," Fauci told CNN's State of the Union.

Last year's celebrations were mostly canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This time last year, no vaccines were available. Now that most adults, and children over the age of 12 are getting vaccinated, Fauci said trick-or-treating outdoors, where the risk for infection is lower, is safe for young children.

…particularly if you're vaccinated, you can get out there and enjoy it. — Dr. Anthony Fauci on Halloween

According to the Monterey County Health Department, as of October 11, 82% of Monterey County eligible residents, aged 12 years and older, have received at least 1 dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said children should be able to go trick-or-treating this Halloween with a couple of caveats:

  • Choose outdoor events, as the risk of COVID transmission is lower outside
  • Choose smaller events and consider the behavior of those attending
  • Vaccinate eligible children—the best way to reduce risk is to be vaccinated. Kids aged 12 and older should get vaccinated
  • Wear a mask—masks have always been part of the Halloween fun, so this one shouldn’t be too hard to incorporate into your costume

"If you're able to be outdoors, absolutely. Limit crowds. I wouldn't necessarily go to a crowded — crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups," Walensky said.

While the CDC is still working on putting out recommendations for the upcoming holiday season, Fauci shared that the outlook for Thanksgiving and Christmas is looking good for vaccinated Americans. He also urged those who are unvaccinated to get the vaccine, in order to protect themselves, and those around them.

For more information about COVID-19, including vaccine and testing locations, visit our COVID-19 information page.

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