Fauci Says Outdoor Trick-or-Treating Safe This Year: ‘You Can Get out There’

By GQ Pan
GQ Pan
GQ Pan
October 10, 2021 Updated: October 19, 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said it is safe for parents and children to trick-or-treat outdoors this Halloween, especially if they have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” for guidance on how to safely celebrate the upcoming Halloween holiday.

“Halloween is just around the corner, a lot of parents are wondering how to trick-or-treat,” said CNN’s Dana Bash. “Do they hand out candy? Do they walk around with their children?”

“I think that particularly if you’re vaccinated, but you can get out there,” Fauci replied. “You’re outdoors for the most part, at least when my children were out there doing trick-or-treating. And enjoy it, I mean this is a time that children love.”

For Americans who are not vaccinated, Fauci said, Halloween is a good time of year for them to “reflect” on reasons they should consider getting the vaccines.

“If you’re not vaccinated, again, think about it, that you’ll add an extra degree of protection to yourself and your children and your family and your community,” he said. “So it’s a good time to reflect on why it’s important to get vaccinated, but go out there and enjoy Halloween as well as the other holidays that will be coming up.”

The federal health agencies have yet to offer any advice on Halloween celebrations, but the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year issued some recommendations for Americans who decided to go trick-or-treating, such as giving out treats outdoors, setting up a station with individually bagged treats for children to take, washing hands before handling treats, and wearing a mask.

Traditional Halloween activities were banned or limited last year by local governments in several populated counties across the nation, including Los Angeles and San Diego Counties in California, and El Paso County, Texas.

In September 2020, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health banned “Halloween gatherings, events or parties with non-household members are not permitted even if they are conducted outdoors” and “carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions.” The county’s health officials also discouraged door-to-door trick-or-treating, but did not ban it.

In El Paso, however, door-to-door trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating was banned because “it can be difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and front doors,” and that sharing food or drinks was considered “risky.”

“We don’t want door-to-door trick-or-treating. Period,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said last October at a press conference.

GQ Pan