California officials 'strongly discourage' trick-or-treating this Halloween

Posted at 2:49 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 17:55:53-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Department of Public Health has released guidance for how to safely celebrate Halloween and Día de los Muertos during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Holidays usually mean gathering with friends and extended family, attending parties, hosting dinners, traveling, and celebrating time-honored customs. But some holiday activities promote congregating and mixing of households, which increase the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

For this reason, CDPH recommends that you choose a safer alternative way to celebrate Halloween and Día de los Muertos, and strongly discourages trick-or-treating. It is important to plan early and identify safer options.

Plan lower-risk celebrations, like:

  • Joining online parties for costume contests or pumpkin carving
  • Enjoying activities from your car like drive-through Halloween displays or drive-in movies
  • Having fun at home with scary movies, a candy scavenger hunt, or turning your home into a haunted house
  • Put on costumes and go on a physically distanced walk with your household
  • Dressing up your home or yard with Halloween decorations

Many traditional Halloween celebrations – such as parties and in-person, door to door trick-or-treating – pose a high risk of spreading COVID-19 and could put your family and loved ones at risk. These activities involve face to face interactions with people from different households, and if an infection is detected among a participant, it will be very difficult to find and notify those who may have been exposed.
For more low-risk Halloween activities, read CDPH’s Guidance for Safer Halloween and Dia de los Muertos Celebrations during COVID-19.

Día de los Muertos
For safety, celebrate Día de los Muertos only with other members of your household, or online.

Some low-risk activities are:

  • Placing altars outside or in a front-facing window so they can be seen from a distance
  • Creating virtual altars online that can be shared through email or social media
  • Creating altar cards that can be sent in the mail
  • Visiting cemeteries only with your household. Wear masks and physically distance from others. Limit time you spend there.

For more low-risk Día de los Muertos activities, read CDPH’s Guidance for Safer Halloween and Dia de los Muertos Celebrations during COVID-19.