It’s OK for children to trick-or-treat this Halloween, federal health officials say

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Rochelle Walensky gave the green light for outdoor activities

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Halloween may feel normal this year despite the pandemic as federal health officials say it’s safe to trick-or-treat.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that as COVID-19 cases decline in the United States, families should feel safe with letting their children go out on Halloween.

“I think that, particularly if you’re vaccinated, but you can get out there, you’re outdoors for the most part, at least when my kids were out there doing trick-or-treating, and enjoy it. This is a time that children love, it’s a very important part of the year for children.”

He added that people wanting to enjoy Halloween on Oct. 31 should consider getting the shots for that “extra degree of protection” if they are not yet vaccinated.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky previously told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that children should be safe if treat-or-treating outdoors.

She did not encourage packed Halloween parties.

“I wouldn’t necessarily go to a crowded- crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick or treating in small groups,” she said.

The CDC has removed holiday guidance on its website due to confusion from previous guidelines, according to NBC News. The public health agency said it is working on an update.

COVID-19 vaccines so far have been approved for people 12 years and older. The Food and Drug Administration plans a meeting in late October to consider Pfizer’s request for emergency use authorization of its vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

Nationwide, there are about 95,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. Fauci called the downward trend “good news” but cautioned against declaring a premature victory since cases have bounced back in the past.

He said he’d like to see cases drop to less than 10,000 a day before dropping COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, such as shedding masks indoors in public places.

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Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.