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Halloween In CA Will Be 'Very Different' During COVID-19

Patch logo Patch 9/16/2020 Kat Schuster
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CALIFORNIA — With just six weeks left until Halloween, children all over California anxiously await the one night of the year they can dress in spooky garb and nab handfuls of candy from numerous homes around their neighborhoods. But officials warn that trick-or-treating may not be part of the celebration this year.

"We’re really urging people to be prepared for a different type of Halloween," said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services Secretary Tuesday. "Trick-or-treating and the type of mixing that comes with Halloween festivities is really not advised under COVID-19."

Ghaly added that state health and government officials were working to put out clear guidelines on how families can still celebrate without breaking social distancing recommendations. While Ghaly said that some counties were putting out their own guidelines to varying degrees of strictness, the consensus seemed to say: keep any festivities and celebrations confined to the household.

"We’re working with our local partners to ensure we put something out that can be statewide," Ghaly said.

Although California's COVID-19 3.6 percent positivity rate has hit a record low since the state began recording case data in late March, officials are still urging residents to keep up the momentum.

"I'm really encouraging my own kids, who are asking 'can I start planning my costume, I really want to make them this year,' to do all of those things," Ghaly said. "I do think some of the preparation can look very much the same."

Pumpkin carving, costume planning, watching horror films and enjoying the "treat" aspect of Halloween is still encouraged; however, any social interactions should still be avoided or at least executed outdoors, with a proper mask and from six feet away.

Last week, Ghaly applauded Los Angeles County for its Halloween trick-or-treating ban. But the county scaled it back to a recommendation the next day.

"Our guidelines have been slightly revised, so we'd ask that people go back and look at them to distinguish between those activities that are not permitted by the health officer order — that includes events, gatherings parties — those are just not allowed," Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director said. "They're not allowed for anything. ... The only activities you can have a party or gathering for are with those people that are in your household."

Although the county canceled the ban on trick-or-treating, Ferrer said that it really shouldn't happen.

READ MORE: LA County Backs Off On Trick-Or-Treating Ban

"You know, there's no guarantee when you go trick-or-treating that your child goes up to a house where the person who opens the door is wearing a face covering," she said. "And when you don't know the people opening the door, there's no guarantee they're not sick and that the candy they're passing out that they've touched may not be safe for you to want your child to be sharing."

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