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Public Health advises against Halloween trick-or-treating due to COVID-19

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Halloween trick-or-treating, and “trunk-or-treating” from vehicle trunks, is now “not recommended” by Ventura County Public Health.
County Public Health first announced Tuesday that the popular Halloween tradition was “not permitted,” due to COVID-19 health concerns.
However, the next day, speaking at the county government press conference, Ventura County Public Health Director Rigoberto Vargas walked back the earlier Halloween guidance.
“We call it interim (guidance) for two reasons,” he said. “One because … we’re six weeks from Halloween. So there’s time for … some adjustment into this guidance. The other reason why it’s interim is because the state … is expected to come up with their own guidance that will, of course, cover the whole state.”
For now, the county’s guidance is as follows:  

 

Not permitted (gatherings and events are not currently allowed under the State Health Order) 
• Halloween gatherings, events or parties with non-household members are not permitted even if they are conducted outdoors.
• Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions are not allowed.

 

Not recommended
• Door-to-door trick-or-treating is not recommended because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors, ensure that everyone answering or coming to the door is appropriately masked to prevent disease spread, and because sharing food is risky.
• “Trunk-or-treating,” which is children going from vehicle to vehicle, instead of door to door to receive treats, is also not recommended, particularly when part of Halloween events, since it is difficult to avoid crowding and sharing food.

Permitted and Recommended
• Online parties/contests (e.g., costume or pumpkin carving)
• Vehicle 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” that 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 nonperishable treats) or takeaway item from an organizer while the participants remain in their vehicle.
• Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters (must comply with the Public Health drive-in movie theater guidance).
• Halloween-themed meals at outdoor restaurants (must comply with the restaurant protocol).
• Halloween-themed art installations at an outdoor museum (must comply with the Public Health museum guidance.)
• Dressing up homes and yards with Halloween themed decorations.

 

Personal protection measures 
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Halloween it is important to keep the following in mind: 
1. Correctly wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread when outside your home and around others that are not part of your household
2. Avoid confined spaces. Actively stay away from indoor spaces that don’t allow for easy distancing of at least 6 feet between you and others
3. Avoid close contact. Stay at least 6 feet away (three or more adult steps) from all other people who are not part of your own household, especially while talking, eating, drinking, and singing.
4. Wash or sanitize your hands often.
5. Clean frequently touched items regularly.
6. If you are sick, or you have been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 stay home, and away from others.

 

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