Halloween 2020 scarier than usual

Trick-or-treating or not is a dilemma in 2020.

Families are on their own to decide if trick-or-treating this Halloween is a good idea.

While the City of Maricopa has set no parameters or guidelines specific to COVID-19 on “fright night,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning against some Halloween activities considered high-risk.

That includes traditional trick-or-treating at the doors of strangers and “trunk-or-treat” gatherings where candy is handed out of the back of vehicles in parking lots. Halloween parties and indoor “haunted house” settings where people are screaming are also considered likely to contribute to the spread of coronavirus.

Anyone who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and, obviously, anyone who has COVID-19 should not be giving out candy, according to the CDC.

Another note from the CDC: A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face. Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

Maricopa Police Department has general reminders for staying safe for those who will be out on the streets in costume.


  • Be careful crossing the street
  • Make sure costumes do not block your field of vision
  • Bring a flashlight and cell phone
  • Be aware of “stranger danger” even as an adult
  • Make sure you are accompanied by a responsible adult
  • Let someone know where you’ll be
  • Inspect all candy before devouring it

Arizona Department of Health Services advises parents to look for tears or holes in wrapped candy and toss out any item that looks suspicious or spoiled.

Kids and adults alike may prefer the normal trick-or-treat experience of going to others’ homes. Under current conditions, it is best to go only to the homes of those you know and trust to be virus-free, and call them ahead of time to let them know your children will be at the door expecting candy.

So, what are low-risk activities for Halloween 2020?

According to the CDC, safest alternatives include the following:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your home
  • A Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • A virtual Halloween costume contest
  • A Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • A scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Considered a little riskier are individually wrapped goodie bags lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard). You may also attempt an outdoor costume parade in which participants are at least six feet apart.

If you are preparing goodie bags or giving out candy, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after.

The City of Maricopa is having two Halloween-themed events it aims to keep virus-free.

Mysterious Mansion Mayhem, the annual Halloween home-decorating contest, will have public voting on the participating homes Oct. 23-25. Participants are advised not to gather in groups and not to touch anything.

The Pacana Park Walk ‘n’ Treat is Oct. 28, 6-8 p.m., with local business vendors – masked and gloved – handing out goodies along the park’s path.