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As Halloween approaches, Sacramento County has released updated COVID-19 guidelines and tips for celebrating safely. We encourage you to follow these guidelines to keep you and your loved ones safe while celebrating this fall!
First and foremost, the County advises that you trick-or-treat in your own local neighborhood. Whether you are handing out candy or accompanying kids in the neighborhood, be sure to wear a face covering if those around you are not vaccinated, or if their vaccination status is unknown. Remember that, per the current Public Health Order, masks are required when you are at an indoor public setting, regardless of vaccination status. The County recommends coordinating your safety with your Halloween costume in a fun way, by decorating your mask to match!
Another important guideline for remaining safe is to be aware of your risk level. If you or a family member are at a high risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19, strongly consider choosing low-risk activities, or skipping some events altogether.
Additionally, you should practice good hygiene to keep yourself and the items around you clean and sterilized. Don’t share costume props or food, and make sure to use hand sanitizer to clean your hands before digging into the candy! Also, be sure to clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched often. Remember, if you feel sick or could be contagious, stay home and away from others.
If you’re expecting trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood, prepare ahead of time to make handing out candy easy and safe for everyone. The County recommends setting up a table to hand out candy in an outdoor area such as a porch or driveway, and using a candy-grabber or a pair of tongs to distribute candy. You can get creative with treat bags hung from streamers outside, or place a decorated bowl of candy and a bottle of hand sanitizer at the end of a driveway/walkway.
For those who are high-risk, you can supplement social events and parties by hosting virtual Halloween parties using video chat tools like Zoom and FaceTime. The County’s tips for safe celebrations also include holding a best costume or craft project contest virtually, hosting a Halloween movie night with your household members either at home or at a drive-in movie theater, and doing a “reverse trick-or-treat,” by dropping off small gift bags on your neighbors' porches. If you plan to host a Halloween party, increase safety by hosting the celebration outdoors or in an open garage.
For other fall activities, be mindful of your hygiene habits and the venue where the activity takes place. If you celebrate Día de los Muertos, celebrate with your household members, or in a virtual setting. For cemetery visits, go with those you live with, and limit the time you spend with others to a minimum. When attending a pumpkin patch, you can increase safety by scheduling a visit when it is less crowded, and try to maintain social distance when in crowded areas. Bring hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean, and bring blankets or chairs rather than using a dining area. If you decide to go to a haunted house, try choosing an outdoor venue such as a haunted corn maze, hay ride, or outdoor scream park. In places where screaming will happen, it is recommended you wear a mask to limit the spread of respiratory droplets.
Lastly, make sure this Halloween is a treat, and don’t fall for any tricks! As always, the County reminds everyone to inspect all candy and treats for signs of tampering. Be alert while driving or trick-or-treating for any signs of danger. When trick-or-treating, use reflective tape and flashlights to ensure drivers can see you. Keep your pets safe by keeping them indoors, with an I.D. collar and current license tags with accurate contact information. Finally, please hand out only commercially wrapped treats, and consider handing out healthier options, or non-food items.
To get the official details of the Sacramento County COVID-19 Halloween Guidelines, visit SacCounty.net/COVID-19 to learn more. Stay safe, and have a happy Halloween!