The HCA Story
Halloween & Costume Association, The Hershey Company, and More Team Up for Safe Trick or Treating
Collaboration is at the center of a useful tool that helps communities aim for a safer Halloween
Halloween celebrations will look a bit different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but families are still looking forward to celebrating the spookiest holiday of the year, according to the National Confectioners Association.
Even though you’ll see fewer monsters mashing, ghouls and goblins on the streets, and vampires stalking the night, the Halloween & Costume Association (HCA), together with its partners including The Hershey Company, have created guidelines to help communities and families foster a safe and fun Halloween night of trick or treating.
“We want parents to know that there are definitely ways to safely celebrate Halloween this year,” Michele Buggy, CAE, executive director for the HCA said.
Buggy saw that the Harvard Global Health Institute had been mapping the COVID-19 risk levels for each county in the country.
“I said, ‘How do we take that map and help people understand what they can do based on their risk level?’” Buggy said. “The problem we were facing is that the guidelines weren’t going to be the same across the country.”
HCA contacted the Harvard Global Health Institute, which allowed the HCA to use their mapping system and endorsed HCA’s guidelines.
Halloween2020.org displays four different COVID risk levels: green, yellow, orange, and red. Those COVID risk level colors correspond to colored zones that allow users to see the activities deemed safest during Halloween in their zone. The Green Zone (the lowest risk level) suggests going to Trunk-R-Treats or visiting official trick or treat safehouses, while the Red Zone (the highest risk level) suggests holding Zoom parties or a scavenger hunt house.
Dr. Ingrid Katz, infectious diseases expert, and associate faculty director at the Harvard Global Health Institute said in a press release that she hopes that the interactive map is a reliable source to help families celebrate Halloween in the safest and most fun way possible.
“We are on a mission to ensure the safest Halloween celebration possible this year and want to make sure families and communities have access to the best, up-to-date guidance that prioritizes community safety,” Kevin Johnson, chairman of the Halloween & Costume Association and chief excitement officer at Elope said in a press release.
The guidelines have been in development for months and align with social distancing precautions established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The guidelines are also endorsed by the National Retail Federation, UNICEF, Spirit, fun.com and the National Confectioners Association to promote a safe Halloween.
A Sweet Partnership
The HCA has some help spreading the word about Halloween safety from its partner, The Hershey Company.
“We approached Hershey and told them about what we were doing, they thought it was really spot on,” Buggy said. “They actually had their own Halloween happiness initiative, and so our efforts tied in really nicely.”
In addition to providing insight on the guidelines, Hershey helped expand the reach of the HCA’s guidelines by sharing them with the Hershey network and on the company’s social media channels. A consumer contest is also in the works.
While we’ll all be celebrating Halloween differently this year, let’s make it an unforgettable thriller night.