Halloween is a fun and beloved tradition but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the Pima County Health Department is asking everyone in the county to celebrate Halloween this year in a manner that reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Many traditional Halloween activities involve close contact with different people, which increases the risk of exposure. Even in masks, which could fit right in with a costume, celebrants face risks unless they take precautions. Therefore, the Health Department recommends AVOIDING the following activities this year:
- Halloween gatherings, events or parties with non-household members – remember, the fewer people you interact with the better you control your exposure.
- Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions – even when outdoors, these events require close contact with others and frequent close contact for staff working at those events. If a celebration is held, it should adhere to Gov. Doug Ducey’s Executive Order 2020-43 restricting public gatherings to fewer than 50 people and requiring the maintenance of physical distancing.
- Door-to-door trick or treating - It is difficult to maintain proper physical distancing on porches and at front doors, and sharing food is risky whether reaching into a shared candy bowl or being given candy by hand.
- “Trunk or Treat” events - where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats – even though it is outside, it is difficult to avoid crowding and contamination in candy bowls.
Instead, the Health Department has suggestions for having fun while protecting your health.
- Online parties/contests such as costume or pumpkin carving
- Car parades that comply with public health guidance for vehicle-based parades including:
- Drive-by events or contests where individuals dress up or decorate their vehicles and drive by “judges” who are appropriately physically distanced.
- Drive-through events where individuals remain in their vehicles and drive through an area with Halloween displays.
- Drive-in events where individuals can receive a treat bag – limited to commercially packaged, non-perishable treats – or a take away item from an organizer with appropriate PPE while the participants remain in their vehicle.
- Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters, which must comply with the public health drive-in movie theater guidance.
- Halloween-themed meals at outdoor restaurants that comply with the restaurant protocol.
- Dressing up homes and yards with Halloween-themed decorations.
“The entire 2020 holiday season will look different this year,” Dr. Theresa Cullen, Director of the Health Department, said. “I encourage everyone to have fun, but do so safely. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Halloween, it is important to continue to wear facemasks, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, and follow physical distancing.”
If you are sick or have been around someone with COVID-19, or symptoms of COVID-19, stay home.