Last year, Halloween celebrations and traditions like trick-or-treating and parties were canceled after the coronavirus pandemic forced people across the country to stay home and avoid coming in contact with anyone who might have the virus. This year however, thanks to a vaccine and strict mask mandates, many Halloween activities that had to be put on hold are going forward.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has already stated that it's safe for children to go trick-or-treating this year while using sensible precautions. And with California the only state in the union in the 'moderate' transmission level, Halloween might be the first time many people are getting back out into the world.
L.A. County health officials have also issued guidance for residents who wish to partake in the festivities next week with a few suggestions on how you can keep your family safe.
• A scavenger hunt - give your kids a list of Halloween-themed things to look for outdoors, like different types of decorations. Keep a distance from people outside your household.
• Hold a virtual costume party online.
• Exchange candy with families you know. Drop off a Halloween treat at the doorstep to surprise the kids.
• Trick-or-treat inside your home with your family by hiding candy for your kids to find. For a fun surprise, hide yourself, too!
• Have a spooky movie night or a Halloween craft or pumpkin carving party with the family.
• Organize a neighborhood costume parade outdoors. Don’t forget to physically distance. Bring and wear a face mask in case it gets crowded.
When it comes to trick-or-treaters, health officials also say families should keep their groups small and remain with those in your household or who you know well.
• Avoid mixing with many different families. Don’t be afraid to ask about people’s vaccination status and recent risks before deciding who is safe to trick-or-treat with.
• Wear a face mask. Be creative and make your face mask part of your costume. A costume mask is NOT a substitute for a face mask that protects against COVID-19.
• Do not wear a costume mask over a face mask. It can make breathing more difficult. Wear a face mask if you are in a crowded outdoor place and if you must be indoors with others. Make sure that everyone in your group wears a face mask consistently and correctly if your group includes different households, especially if there are people who are not fully vaccinated.
• Keep your distance from other groups of trick-or-treaters. Wait on the sidewalk at least 6 feet from other groups. Don’t gather with other groups on porches and at front doors.
• Keep hands clean. Carry hand sanitizer so that kids can clean their hands while trick-or-treating. Remind kids to not eat or touch their face with unclean hands.
• Be flexible. If a house or street is crowded, come back later or go to another less crowded street.
• Avoid indoor spaces. Wear masks at all times when you are indoors with people from other households.
Halloween Tips for All Ages
Of course, Halloween isn't just for kids. For those adults who like to go out and have fun on the spookiest night of the year, here are a few tips you can use to stay safe.
• Keep gatherings small and outdoors. If it must be indoors, improve the air flow by opening windows and doors if it is safe to do so.
• Avoid indoor haunted houses where people may crowd together and scream. People spray tiny droplets when they yell or scream. The droplets can build up indoors, increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19 if someone is infected.
• Avoid crowded places. Being in crowds, especially indoors, puts you at a higher risk.
• Wear a face mask. Incorporate a face mask that covers your nose and mouth snugly into your costume. A costume mask is NOT a substitute for a face mask that protects against COVID-19. Wear the mask whenever you are inside with other people or in crowded outdoor spaces.
• Be flexible. Be willing to change your plans or leave if you feel uncomfortable or find yourself in a place where COVID-19 can spread more easily. For example, indoors in a loud crowded bar or restaurant with a lot of people who are not wearing face masks.