(The Center Square) – California health officials are discouraging trick-or-treating this Halloween out of concern for spreading COVID-19.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released state guidance for upcoming Halloween and Dia de los Muertos celebration on Tuesday.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said it's safest to participate from home or virtually, and celebrate with face painting, pumpkin carving, creating a haunted house, or a candy hunt. The state of California published a list of approved activities to the COVID-19 response information website for the public’s viewing.
Ghaly noted that if a positive case is discovered, contract tracing to alert those exposed to the virus could be extremely challenging.
“The whole act of going door to door in groups, ringing doorbells, digging into buckets of delicious candy, create a risk of spreading COVID-19,” Ghaly said. “The fact that positive cases are hard to discover and probably really challenging to contact trace also pose challenges that we feel like are too great.”
The guidance also noted that regardless of the type of celebration, individuals should wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and avoid "mixing between different households."
"Gatherings of more than three households are prohibited in California," the guidance said. "Californians are permitted to gather with a maximum of two other households. This means that on Halloween, if you are spending time with others, you must stick with a maximum of three households (including your own), and not mingle with others."