Tips for a safer Halloween during COVID-19

Published Oct. 7, 2020

UPDATE, OCT. 13: The State of California has release guidance for Halloween and Día de los Muertos celebrations that is applicable statewide. 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t mean you can’t have a spooktacular Halloween – it just means a few extra precautions are in order. Here are some tips from Placer County Public Health to help you have a safe and fun Halloween.

Consider safer alternatives

The safest gathering is a virtual gathering. Here are some fun options to consider this Halloween:  

  • Virtual parties/contests (e.g. costume contests or pumpkin carving).
  • A scavenger hunt, dance party or scary movie night at home just for members of your household.
  • Drive-in events where participants stay in their vehicles.

Safer trick or treating

If you do choose to trick or treat, or hand out candy, there are steps you can take to lower you and your family’s risk:

  • Wear a face covering: Wear a cloth face covering that securely covers nose and mouth to prevent disease spread. Have your child select their own face covering, and then decorate it together to match their costume.
  • Trick or treat with members of your own household: Minimize mixing and keep any interactions with others outside your household brief.
  • Keep physical distance: Stay at least 6 feet away from all other people who are not part of your own household, especially when talking, eating or drinking.
  • Keep it outdoors: Avoid confined spaces, especially indoors. Don’t have trick-or-treaters ring doorbells or knock on doors – instead, set up an outdoor area for candy delivery.
  • Ensure treats are pre-packaged and that trick or treaters only touch their single item. Don’t use hands to grab candy; consider tongs or other tools, hang treat bags up by streamers for kids to grab, or spread out candy on a table rather than in a single bowl so children don’t touch multiple items.
  • Encourage distancing while lining up for candy, such as by placing pumpkins or other decorations six feet apart as markers for trick-or-treaters.
  • Practice good hygiene: Wash hands or use sanitizer frequently. Clean high-touch items regularly.

If you or anyone in your household is not feeling well, don’t go out in public and do not hand out treats. If you are in a high-risk category – including those who are elderly or have underlying health conditions – stay home and away from others.

Please respect your neighbors and your community. Some of your neighbors may be uncomfortable celebrating Halloween in any way this year, and we ask that you respect your neighbor’s wishes and concerns. Everyone is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic to the best of their abilities and has different comfort levels about what is safe to do.