As parents gear up for Halloween, they'll have to decide how to maximize fun for their kids while minimizing the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
Can families go trick-or-treating? Is a Zoom costume party a better idea?
The Halloween & Costume Association and Harvard Global Health Institute released a color-coded map that shows coronavirus risk levels by county to help guide families on how to safely celebrate Halloween. Counties fall into one of four risk levels, calculated on a seven-day rolling average of daily cases per 100,000 population. The risk levels correlate with colors:
Green: Less than 1
Yellow: Less than 10 but more than 1
Orange: Less than 25 but more than 10
Red: More than 25
Initial high-risk "red zone" areas include parts of North Dakota and South Dakota, as well as a number of Southwestern states. Parts of Maine, Colorado and Oregon have low risks and fall into the "green zone."
Once parents find the color connected to their county, they can scroll down from the map to find suggestions for activities based on risk level. Green zone activities include trick-or-treating and small neighborhood costume parties. In the red zone, Zoom parties and at-home scavenger hunts are suggested.
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She plans to allow her son to trick-or-treat this year. The risk of spread, she said, is less outdoors than it is indoors. Most trick-or-treaters wear masks, and as long as they keep their distance, Katz said, it should be OK to celebrate Halloween.
Follow Gary Dinges on Twitter @gdinges
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Halloween: Map helps determine COVID-19 risk level of events