It's time to get those costumes and bowls of candy ready — Halloween is just around the corner.
And unlike last year, trick-or-treating can go ahead this season — that's according to the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
"I think that, particularly if you're vaccinated, you can get out there and enjoy it," Fauci told CNN's State of the Union this weekend.
After more than 18 months under the dark cloud of the coronavirus pandemic, the Halloween celebrations should be able to go ahead safely, he said. That's a refreshing change from last year's celebrations that were largely canceled due to high cases of COVID-19 and no vaccine yet available.
As many adults, and now younger Americans over the age of 12 are getting vaccinated, Fauci said trick-or-treating outdoors, where the risk for infection is lower, should be safe for young children.
"This is a time that children love. It's a very important part of the year for children," he said.
HealthyChildren.org recommended that families stick to outdoor trick-or-treating and doing so in small groups. For handing out candy and other goodies, the website recommended sitting outside and lining up individually prepackaged treats for children to take.
Fauci also shared that the outlook for the rest of the holiday season, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, is looking good for vaccinated Americans.
He went on to urge those who are unvaccinated to get their shots. He said the vaccine serves as another layer of protection for the individual and their families.
Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine is now available for people ages 12 and older. The company has requested that the Food and Drug Administration authorize the shots for kids ages 5 to 11. If the FDA is on board, those shots could be going into the arms of young kids in just a few weeks.
Fauci's recommendations are in line with comments made by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky last month.
She shared on CBS' Face the Nation that young children should be able to safely go out for Halloween in small groups.
"If you're able to be outdoors, absolutely. Limit crowds. 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," Walensky said.
But earlier this month, the CDC caused some confusion about recommendations for those looking to celebrate the fall and winter holidays.
Previously posted, outdated guidance on the CDC's website, which recommended keeping windows open and family meetings brief, won't be the agency's final word on the 2021 holidays.
The CDC said it is in the process of updating its advice for Americans to safely observe the upcoming holiday season.
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