CDC discouraging trick-or-treating, indoor costume parties and haunted houses for Halloween this year

Many things are considered "High Risk" but The Great Pumpkin Farm in Newstead gets the OK to open safely
Mayor Brown discouraging door-to-door trick-or-treating, large Halloween parties in Buffalo
Posted at 6:01 AM, Sep 22, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Centers for Disease Control has issued its first guidelines related to Halloween this year.

The CDC has listed a number of ways to celebrate the holiday, and categorized them as low, moderate or high-risk activities.

The following activities were listed as "high risk activities"

  • Traditional trick-or-treating
  • Crowded indoor costume parties
  • Indoor haunted houses
  • Hayrides or tractor rides with people not in your family

Halloween activities that were listed as "moderate risk" include

  • One-way trick-or-treating, with bags lined up for familes outdoors, and social distance maintained
  • Costume parties outdoors where people can remain six feet apart
  • Open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest visits
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or going apple picking, while maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and using hand sanitizer

"Low-risk" Halloween activities include

  • Carving and decorating pumpkins with members of your household
  • Decorating your house, apartment or living space
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with your household

For a look at the full guidelines, visit the CDC website here.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he will not ban trick-or-treating in the state this year, instead leaving it up to parents to decide.

While many favorite fall and Halloween activities will not happen this year, there is a small sign of normalcy returning as "The Great Pumpkin Farm" has gotten approval from the Erie County Department of Health and the Town of Newstead to open.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be open. Up until a few weeks ago, we weren't sure if we would be allowed to open," explained Ben Schultz, co-owner.

Capacity at The Great Pumpkin Farm is limited to 33%, face coverings and social distancing rules are in effect, and some hands-on children's activities will not be happening.

"We probably have ten extra employees just for COVID compliance," said Schultz.

David Miller, code enforcement officer for the Town of Newstead, said, so far, things have been going well concerning safety. "It is not only trying to save some sort of normalcy but trying to protect those we care about."