The only entity going door to door in L.A. County this Halloween will be the coronavirus.
On September 9, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) released its Halloween guidance for 2020. The list includes allowed activities as well as a reminder for everyone to practice good personal health.
With California as a leading state in COVID-19 cases, it was first announced that Halloween would be cancelled altogether. This caused an outrage through the public. The department ended up revising the statement to be more accommodating.
In line with current restrictions, gatherings such as Halloween parties, festivals, and haunted houses will not be permitted, while traditional outings such as trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating are not completely banned. However, they are not recommended as social distancing and other COVID-19 prevention measures would be difficult to regulate.
Despite a tighter leash on typical outings, the DPH did not hesitate to supplement with alternate ideas. The list includes online parties, drive in, by, and through events, guideline-following gatherings at outdoor restaurants or museums, and home decorating.
As for personal health guidelines, the following are highly recommended: correctly wearing double-layered cloth masks, avoiding small spaces and close contact, sanitizing hands and frequently touched objects often, and self-isolating as the need arises.
While Californians will stick to their living rooms, others in states less impacted by COVID-19 have more freedom. In the few counties with less strict guidelines, trick-or-treating is okay when practicing social distancing. Parties with family and close friends are also allowed.
No matter the city, county, or state, health officials want all people to stay safe and healthy during the Halloween of this equally frightening year.