By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – The COVID-19 vaccine has made in-person gatherings safer, lowering the risk of getting and spreading the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is updating its guidance for celebrating the 2021 holiday season safely.

Businesses that thrive during seasonal holidays are just as excited as their customers.

“Halloween is most definitely the biggest month of the year for us. When people can’t gather and have fun in groups, then Halloween is going to suffer,” said Kevin Pohle, co-owner of The Wizard’s Chest. “We were down last year, which was completely understandable.”

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Pohle says The Wizard’s Chest, a Denver toy and costume store on South Broadway, is selling higher amounts of Halloween merchandise earlier in the year than usual. Pohle thinks people are feeling safer and are ready to make up for lost time.

“They are amped up this year! We are definitely running ahead of previous years because people had to wait an extra year. They’re excited,” said Pohle.

The majority of customers inside the business Wednesday were wearing masks.

Last week, the CDC updated holiday guidance, but later claimed it was outdated: “The page had a technical update…but doesn’t reflect the CDC’s guidance ahead of this holiday season.”

They plan to revise and re-release holiday guidance soon.

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Dr. Michelle Barron, Senior Medical Director of infection prevention and control at UCHealth, says it’s important to make sure everyone in your party is vaccinated. She says breakthrough cases are rare, but they still occur.

“I think the key thing is to be really conscious if you’re traveling and there are going to be lots of people that you’re going to be around,” said Barron. “You don’t want to put people in that kind of position where they don’t know or you, after the fact, find out that you got somebody infected.”

People are excited to get scared this Halloween, but no one wants to fear for their health.

If you typically shop at the end of the month for a costume, Pohle says this isn’t the year to do that. Like many businesses recovering during the pandemic, supply shortages have hit Halloween shops too.

Tori Mason