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Staying Safe During Halloween: Tips and Tricks

Fall is upon us and families are beginning to prepare for the 2020 holiday season. Due to COVID-19, celebrating holidays this year will be different but that doesn't mean families still can't have fun. 

The traditional way in which Halloween is celebrated does not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members and, therefore, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has offered some guidance on how to take part in Halloween activities in a manner that reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19. 

Not Allowed:

Keep in mind that Los Angeles County guidelines do not permit Halloween gatherings, events, or parties with non-household members, whether outdoors or indoors. The guidelines also do not allow for carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, or haunted house attractions.

Not Recommended:

Door to door trick or treating is not recommended because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors, ensure that everyone answering or coming to the door is appropriately masked to prevent disease spread and because sharing food is risky.

“Trunk or treating” where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats is also not recommended, particularly when part of Halloween events since it is difficult to avoid crowding and sharing food.

Permitted and Recommended:

  • Creating jack-o-lanterns with household members and placing them both outside and inside of the home as decorations
  • Decorating the home
  • Holding a virtual Halloween Costume Contest
  • Watching Halloween-themed movies at home or at drive-in movie theaters with household members
  • Walking through pumpkin patches or orchards while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, in addition to using hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or fruits
  • Holding an outdoor movie night with family and friends while maintaining social distance
  • Car parades that comply with public health guidance for vehicle-based parades including:
a. Drive by events or contests where individuals dress up or decorate their vehicles and drive-by “judges” that are appropriately physically distanced.
b. Drive through events where individuals remain in their vehicles and drive through an area with Halloween displays.
c. Drive-in events where individuals can receive a treat bag (limited to commercially packaged non-perishable treats) or take away items from an organizer while the participants remain in their vehicle.
Personal Protection Measures:
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Halloween, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  1. Correctly wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread when outside your home and around others that are not part of your household
  2. Avoid confined spaces - Actively stay away from indoor spaces that don’t allow for easy distancing of at least 6ft between you and others
  3. Avoid close contact – Stay at least 6 feet away (3 or more adult steps) from all other people who are not part of your own household, especially while talking, eating, drinking, and singing.
  4. Wash or sanitize your hands often.
  5. Clean frequently touched items regularly.
  6. If you are sick, or you have been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 stay home, and away from others.
Published: January 19, 2021