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Pumpkin jack-o'-lantern on wooden bench with mum flowers in the background

County Health Officer Issues Guidance for Safer Halloween Activities During COVID-19

Author: Joint Information Center
Date: 10/2/2020 3:58:44 PM

San Luis Obispo County community members now have COVID-19 guidelines for safely and responsibly celebrating Halloween this year.


Updated on 10/13/20 1:40 PM

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released guidance for safer Halloween and Día de los Muertos celebrations during COVID-19 (Léelo en español). Like the County's guidance referenced below, the CDPH's guidance strongly discourages traditional trick-or-treating and encourages families to plan safer alternatives. Suggestions include a candy scavenger hunt at home, scheduling online activities like pumpkin carving and costume contests, and car-based tours of Halloween displays.

The guidance also covers Día de los Muertos, a Mexican tradition celebrated in the Latino community honoring the deceased. Día de los Muertos celebrations often include gatherings of extended family as well as cemetery visits. Families are encouraged to place traditional indoor alters outside so others can view them from a safe distance, create virtual altars online and keep cemetery visits short in duration and limited to people within the same household.


Original Post on 10/2/2020 at 3:58 PM:

En Español

San Luis Obispo County community members now have COVID-19 guidelines for safely and responsibly celebrating Halloween this year. 

Because COVID-19 continues to pose a substantial risk to SLO County, and the State has not yet issued health guidance for the upcoming holiday, County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein issued new Halloween Guidance to reduce the risk of COVID-19 during Halloween celebrations.

“We can still enjoy Halloween and prevent outbreaks of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Dr. Borenstein. “This guidance gives you choices to celebrate Halloween safely. Please take the time to review it and take steps to reduce the risk to you, your family, your neighbors, and our whole community.”

Traditional holiday activities often promote congregating and the mixing of households, which increases the risk of transmitting COVID-19. The County’s COVID-19 Halloween Guidance directs community members to limit contact while distributing treats, safely prepare treats, wear a cloth face covering with your costume and as you hand out treats, stick to your social bubble, and more.

Dr. Borenstein strongly discourages standard Halloween activities like traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating because they can easily spread COVID-19 to multiple households. However, the guidance provides low-risk alternatives, including leaving bowls or pre-packaged treats on your doorstep or porch for trick-or-treaters to enjoy, online parties or costume contests, drive-through parades, socially distanced activities, a movie night at a drive-in theater, and more.

Highest risk activities and those that are not permitted include carnivals or festivals, live entertainment (including live music), indoor and outdoor haunted house attractions where people are gathered close and screaming, and in-person parties or gatherings (including outdoor social gatherings) with people not part of your small social bubble.

Click here to view SLO County's Halloween guidance.

​​​​For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444 is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with COVID-19 questions.


Oficial de Salud del Condado Da Guía para Actividades de Halloween más Seguras durante COVID-19

Los miembros de la comunidad del Condado de San Luis Obispo ahora tienen guías COVID-19 para celebrar Halloween de manera segura y responsable este año.

Debido a que COVID-19 sigue representando un riesgo sustancial para el Condado de SLO, y el Estado aún no ha emitido orientación médica para el próximo día festivo, la Dra. Penny Borenstein, Oficial de Salud del Condado, emitió una nueva Guía de Halloween para reducir el riesgo de COVID-19 durante las celebraciones de Halloween.

"Todavía podemos disfrutar de Halloween y prevenir brotes de COVID-19 en nuestras comunidades", dijo la Dra. Borenstein. "Esta guía le da opciones para celebrar Halloween de forma segura. Por favor, tómese el tiempo para revisarlo y tomar medidas para reducir el riesgo para usted, su familia, sus vecinos y toda nuestra comunidad".

Las actividades tradicionales a menudo promueven la congregación y la mezcla de los hogares, lo que aumenta el riesgo de transmitir COVID-19. La Guía de Halloween COVID-19 del Condado dirige a los miembros de la comunidad que limiten el contacto mientras distribuyen golosinas, preparen golosinas de forma segura, usen una cubierta de cara de tela con su disfraz, se mantengan con su burbuja social y más.

La Dra. Borenstein desaconseja fuertemente las actividades estándar de Halloween, como el pedir de dulces tradicional de puerta en puerta, ya que pueden propagar fácilmente COVID-19 a varios hogares. Sin embargo, la guía ofrece alternativas de bajo riesgo, incluyendo dejar golosinas pre-enbolsadas en la puerta para que los niños los tomen, fiestas en línea o concursos de disfraces, desfiles en coche, actividades con distancia social, una noche de cine en un cine y mucho más.

Las actividades de mayor riesgo y las que no están permitidas incluyen carnavales o festivales, entretenimiento en vivo (incluyendo música en vivo), atracciones de casas encantadas en interiores y al aire libre donde las personas se reúnen cerca y gritan, y fiestas o reuniones en persona (incluyendo reuniones sociales al aire libre) con personas que no forman parte de su pequeña burbuja social.

​​​​Para actualizaciones sobre COVID-19 en el Condado de SLO, visite ReadySLO.org o llame a la Línea de Información de Salud Pública registrada al (805) 788-2903. Un centro de asistencia telefónica con personal al (805) 543-2444 está disponible de lunes a viernes, de 8 a.m. a 5 p.m. para ayudar con las preguntas COVID-19.