Submitted by the Washington State Department of Health
Halloween will look and feel a little bit different this year because of COVID-19, so it will be important to identify safer alternative activities to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
The Department of Health wants Washington residents to have a fun Halloween while remembering a few key actions you can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Protect yourself, your loved ones, and others while celebrating:
• Wear a cloth face-covering anytime you are with people not from your household, whether indoors or outside.
• Avoid confined spaces. Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities, but if you’re indoors, make sure to have proper ventilation, and even open doors and windows to the extent possible.
• Avoid close contact with people outside of your household. Stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not part of your household.
• Wash or sanitize your hands (and the hands of little ones) often.
• Stay home if you are sick or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. And if you have symptoms or you’ve been a close contact with someone with COVID-19, get a COVID-19 test.
“Many children and families in Washington are wanting to know what happens on Halloween this year. This holiday, along with most of our holidays, will look and feel a bit different,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, Deputy Secretary of Health for COVID-19. “The good news is that with some changes, we can find meaningful and fun ways to celebrate while still working to reduce COVID-19 transmission in our state.”
Some fun, creative, and safer options for celebrating Halloween include:
• Have a scavenger hunt at home. Dress up and hide candy or other treats throughout the house or yard.
• Have a Halloween movie marathon with household members.
• Host an online costume or pumpkin carving contest.
If you go trick-or-treating:
• Stick with members of your household and keep at least 6 feet of distance from others.
• Wear a cloth mask and remember: a plastic costume mask is not a suitable substitute.
• Wash your hands before and after trick-or-treating.
• Bring plenty of hand sanitizer.
If you give out treats:
• Limit candy to individually wrapped treat bags. This reduces the number of people who would typically touch items in a communal bowl.
• If possible, place treats on a table in your driveway or yard to avoid crowds at your front door. To see trick-or-treaters, sit in a chair in your driveway, garage, yard, or porch and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from the treat table.
• Place a few mini pumpkins or other decorations 6 feet apart to signal a line and keep trick-or-treaters distanced while waiting for treats.
Avoid gatherings, events, or parties with people outside of your household that violate the gathering limitations outlined in Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan, https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/safe-start/whats-open-each-phase. Also, check-in with your local health jurisdiction as they may have additional guidance or requirements for celebrating Halloween safely this year.
For more tips and tricks for treating yourself to a fun and safe Halloween, visit the Department of Health’s COVID-19 + Halloween tips, https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/HalloweenTips.pdf.
Have more questions about COVID-19? Call our hotline: 1-800-525-0127, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. For interpretative services, press # when they answer and say your language. For questions about your own health, COVID-19 testing, or testing results, please contact a health care provider.