MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging Americans to avoid higher-risk Halloween activities like trick-or-treating in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters,” according to guidance posted Monday on the CDC’s website.
Other higher-risk Halloween activities, according to the CDC, are:
- Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
- Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
- Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
- Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
- Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
- Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19
CDC officials are encouraging lower-risk holiday activities, such as carving or decorating pumpkins with household members; decorating your house, apartment or living space; doing a Halloween scavenger hunt; or holding a virtual Halloween costume contest.
“The CDC’s guidance reinforces that Halloween is happening and provides inspiration for creative and safe approaches to celebrating the holiday throughout the month of October," said John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, in a statement. "There’s no question that Halloween will look different this year, and innovative approaches endorsed by CDC like outdoor trick-or-treating can bring a little fun to the fall.”
Some Halloween events in the Grand Strand will be taking place, following the CDC guidelines.
The Conway Ghost Walk has been happening in Downtown Conway for nearly ten years.
Before the pandemic, groups could tour together during the ghost walk in the historic downtown area, listening to professional storytellers share their ‘Halloween tales.’ But this year, the ghost walk will look a bit different.
One of the biggest changes during the annual Halloween event is how the tours will be conducted.
This year’s Conway Ghost Walk will be self-guided, to prevent any large group check-ins or tour gatherings.
The attendees will receive an email instructing them how to access the different locations for the storytellers, to keep the self-guided tours moving smoother.
Although the event is outside, attendees are being asked to wear masks, as an extra safety precaution.
Conway Downtown Alive, which hosts the Ghost Walk event, will also reduce the number of tickets being sold for each show, to limit the participants.
Executive Director for Conway Downtown Alive, Hillary Howard, said the Ghost Walk will be adhering to the CDC’s guidelines at all times and are ready to make any necessary adjustments for the safety of those attending.
“As we have seen with 2020, things change every day, every week, every month,” Howard said. “For any event, any activity, everyone needs to be ready to [make] changes and be flexible as new guidelines are released and new information becomes available. We stand ready to do that.”
Conway Downtown Alive is also hosting a second Halloween event, the 2020 Halloween Golf Cart Parade. Everyone attending is asked to wear masks while in line for the event as well.
“Our golf cart will be stationed, to remain six-feet apart,” Howard said. “They will obviously maintain that distancing through the parade route.”
The Conway Ghost Walk will take place from October 22-24, the 2020 Halloween Golf Cart Parade will be happening on Halloween Day.
You can find more information about the events on the Conway Downtown Alive website.
For more holiday guidance from the CDC, click here.