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Local physician's tips remove scare from Halloween during pandemic

COVINGTON, Ga. – As with many things this year, Halloween may look a little different for the ghouls and goblins wanting to enjoy spooky tricks while snacking on tasty treats. However, Dr. Samira L. Brown, a pediatrician with Piedmont Physicians Covington Pediatrics, said there are plenty of new, safe ways to enjoy Halloween while minimizing risk.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the types of Halloween activities children and families would typically participate in, like haunted houses or indoor Halloween parties, there are still ways to have fun while keeping yourself and others safe,” Brown said. “The CDC has provided guidelines that outline the risk of specific activities, and I think families will find there are many low risk activities they can do together.”

Referencing the CDC’s guidelines, Brown suggested families participate in lower-risk activities such as carving or decorating pumpkins and then displaying them, having a family Halloween movie night. Another lower risk activity that can be done with friends and neighbors is to hold a virtual costume contest.

“The lowest-risk activities are going to be those where you are interacting in-person with only those in your immediate household,” Brown said. “Even doing socially-distanced activities outside with friends or neighbors creates more risk.”

The CDC also outlines activities considered to pose moderate or higher risk to possible COVID-19 exposure. Moderate-risk activities include costume contests held outside, even when attendees are socially distanced six feet or more apart; having a socially distanced outdoor movie night with local friends and neighbors; and participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goody bags are displayed for trick-or-treaters to grab and go.

Higher-risk activities include traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating and attending indoor parties and haunted houses. A full list of activities and their levels of risk can be found by visiting

Whatever your Halloween plans, Brown said to be mindful of the three “Ws” — Wear your face covering; Wash your hands; Watch your distance.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged us to get more creative in how we interact with one another,” Brown said. “We want everyone to be safe and limit risk, while also having fun and creating new memories.”