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CDC: It's safe for kids to trick-or-treat outside this year

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says she doesn’t recommend crowded Halloween parties, but kids can dress up and have fun in small groups.

NORFOLK, Va. — Fall temperatures are in the air which means Halloween is right around the corner.

Some of you may be wondering if it’s safe to let your kids go trick-or-treating this year with COVID-19 cases still high.

According to the experts, it is.

Last year, Sean Hardner, his wife Kristina Hayes, and their daughter Annabelle played it safe when it came to Halloween.

"We just chilled at Grandma’s house for trick or treating instead of actually going and she got candy from grandma," said Kristina.

They weren't the only ones.

Last year, health officials discouraged going full-on with Halloween festivities, citing concerns over social distancing, even outdoors.

But this year, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says Halloween trick-or-treating is safe for kids outside this year.

She says she doesn’t recommend crowded Halloween parties, but kids can dress up and have fun in small groups.

Dr. Rebekah Sensenig with Riverside Health System agrees that the holiday can be done safely.

"If you are going with your own small group or pod of people that you normally are exposed to, wear a mask when you go. You can also wear gloves, incorporate them into your costume if you wish, and most importantly, make sure you’re washing your hands," she said.

That’s exactly what Annabelle’s family is going to do this year.

"We were planning on sticking in the family neighborhood, just people that we know," said Sean.

Both of her parents say it makes them feel better to know the CDC has given the go-ahead.

"It’ll be nice to be a little more normal," Kristina said.

As for Annabelle, she already has her costume picked out.

"I’m gonna be a princess," she said. "Cinderella!"

There is still no vaccine available for kids under 12 and there likely won’t be in time for Halloween.

However, Pfizer says their vaccine for kids 5-11 should be approved in early November.

The World Health Organization reported that the global number of new coronavirus cases and deaths has continued to fall in the past week.

This could be, in part, what is contributing to health officials' lightening up on holiday gathering restrictions.