A news release from the Yakima Health District points the way to the safe way to celebrate Halloween during the pandemic.

This October, the Yakima Health District would like to encourage residents to consider safer, alternative ways to celebrate Halloween. COVID-19 remains widespread in our community, and many traditional Halloween activities may increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

We are still in Modified Phase 1 of the Safe Start Plan, and under current orders from the Governor’s office, only outdoor gatherings with 5 or less people, masked and socially distanced, are permitted. There is also still a ban on indoor gatherings until Phase 3. Halloween parties are strongly discouraged as large social gatherings are not currently permitted in our county. Those planning to celebrate the holiday are encouraged to do at-home celebrations with household members only.

With that in mind, there are still many ways for community members to have fun and celebrate Halloween safely. YHD encourages individuals to consider the following alternatives:

· Halloween yard decorations

· Virtual/online costume parties with family and friends

· Halloween-themed dinner at home

· Halloween candy scavenger hunt at home

YHD explicitly discourages Door-to-Door Trick or Treating as this promotes close contact with members of different households, which may increase risk of exposure to COVID-19.

If households decide to pass out Halloween treats, we recommend that they hand out individually packaged treats and set them on a table outside their home for visitors to pick up. Each household must ensure that tables are cleaned and sanitized between use and that social distancing is maintained by all visitors.

Additional Information: Yakima Health District COVID-19 Guidance for Halloween and Día de los Muertos Celebrations

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