Children in Halloween costumes

Many parents are asking if it is safe for their children to go trick-or-treating this year during the pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union” that it was OK this year as long as it was outdoors. 

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.

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.

Child trick-or-treating with mask on

A display of carved pumpkins was one stop on a scavenger hunt where kids can trick-or-treat for candy during Berkshire Botanical Garden’s BOOtanical Halloween event in Stockbridge last year. In 2020, many families opted for smaller Halloween events outdoors instead of traditional trick-or-treating.