Nearly half of Americans say they won’t hand out Halloween candy

Sep 21, 2020, 6:03 AM | Updated: 10:12 am
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(Photo: Shutterstock via CNN)
(Photo: Shutterstock via CNN)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Nearly half of Americans say they won’t hand out candy to trick-or-treaters this year for Halloween because of precautions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A new survey from finds that roughly 46% don’t plan to give out treats, which may leave some decorated children empty-handed this year. 

Who will, and who won’t

Of the 50% who said they’ll celebrate Halloween this year, 34% said they’ll go through with plans normally. Only 16% said they would adjust their holiday plans according to COVID-19 guidelines. 

Of those who said they would still hand out candy, 30% said they would physically open the door to make the exchange. On the other hand, 24% said they would just leave a bowl outside. 

According to data, roughly 35% of those who said they’d hand out candy normally are 55-years-old or older. According to the CDC, that’s the age group at highest risk for the coronavirus. 

Updated guidelines for trick-or-treating

The survey data comes around the same time Hershey released an interactive map indicating COVID-19 risk across the country. The map shows risk levels for every county in the U.S. — allowing trick-or-treaters to assess conditions before heading out the door. 

For those in the green zone, trick-or-treaters can celebrate normally with proper social distancing guidelines. Small parties are also OK.

In the yellow, people should strictly follow safety guidelines — wearing masks indoors and keeping the proper distance. This can include drive-up trick-or-treating, street parades, or throwing treats from the front door. 

The orange zone recommends “trick-or-treating in reverse” — allowing kids to hang out in front yards while candy-givers go through neighborhoods delivering treats. Parties should be outside only, following strict social distancing guidelines while wearing masks. 

Counties in the red zone should opt for creativity, looking to Zoom parties or indoor trick-or-treating activities among family members. At this level, the CDC recommends forgoing the usual neighborhood celebrations. 


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Nearly half of Americans say they won’t hand out Halloween candy