As Covid-19 cases continue to decline, the nation’s top infectious disease expert has said families should be able to trick or treat this Halloween without too much risk, especially if they’re vaccinated. Dr. Anthony Fauci shared his Covid-19 Halloween guidance in an interview with CNN this weekend, answering children’s number one question: Can we trick or treat this year?
“I think that, particularly if you're vaccinated, you can get out there," Fauci, who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Dana Bash when asked what his guidance was for trick-or-treating on Halloween in an interview Sunday. “You're outdoors for the most part, at least when my children were [when they were] out there doing trick-or-treating.”
In fact, Fauci not only gave trick-or-treating the green light but encouraged children and families to enjoy the longstanding Halloween tradition. “Enjoy it,” he said. “This is a time of the year that children love. It’s a very important part of the year for children. I know my children enjoyed it.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said Covid-19 is more easily spread indoors than outdoors, making outdoor activities such as trick-or-treating safer than indoor gatherings. However, the agency has advised anyone over the age of 2 to wear a mask when unable to stay at least six feet apart from people not in their household, even when outside.
While speaking to CNN on Sunday, Fauci also urged unvaccinated individuals to consider getting vaccinated before the holidays. “If you’re not vaccinated, again think about it,” Fauci said. “You’ll add an extra degree of protection to yourself and your children and your family and your community.”
Fauci went on to describe the holidays as “a good time to reflect on why it’s important to get vaccinated.”
As Covid-19 cases finally began to decline in late September following a nationwide surge driven largely by the Delta variant, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said families would likely be able to enjoy outdoor Halloween activities like trick-or-treating. “I wouldn’t necessarily go to a crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups,” CNBC reported Walensky said during an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation. “I hope that we can do that this year.”
Although children under the age of 12 likely won’t have access to a Covid-19 vaccine until much closer to Halloween — Pfizer has only just recently asked the FDA to expand their emergency use authorization to include children ages 5 and up — public health experts like Fauci and Walensky have said children should be safe to trick or treat. In general, the CDC recommends families stick to outdoor activities, wear face masks, practice social distancing, and limit time spent in crowded areas.
“But go out there and enjoy Halloween as well as the other holidays that will be coming up,” Fauci said Sunday.