WASHINGTON — The government’s top infectious diseases expert says families can feel safe trick-or-treating outdoors this year for Halloween as COVID-19 cases in the U.S. decline, especially for those who are vaccinated.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that it’s an important time of year for children, so “go out there” and “enjoy it.”
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.
8 On Your Side spoke to the Chief of Infectious Disease from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Dr. Allison Messina, who said any outdoor event for Halloween is going to be a lot safer.
“Outdoor events are typically safer than indoor events because you don’t have the issue of circulation problems, outside in the fresh air you don’t have that issues of air circulating indoors,” said Dr. Allison Messina.
Dr. Messina said there are several factors that make this year’s Halloween safer than last year; like more people 12 and older vaccinated and COVID-19 cases doing down in the community.
“All of these things kind of favor this year being on the safer side because of those things,” added Dr. Messina.
However, the contagious delta variant raises some concerns, as a large portion of children, ages 5 – 11, are unable to get vaccinated.
“I still think that we need to be mindful of the fact that those risks are still there; the risk is not zero,” said Dr. Messina.
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.