Boo! COVID Scare Puts Damper on 2020 Halloween Festivities

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency issued coronavirus safety guidance for the upcoming Halloween holiday

Catherine Delahaye

If you were hoping for a little reminder of normal on a holiday where our wardrobe and diet are usually the furthest things from it, then the latest guidance from the county might kill your spirit.

In-person, non-household gatherings and live entertainment are still prohibited under the county Public Health Order, which severely limits options when it comes to getting spooky with friends on Oct. 31st, which (finally!) falls on a Saturday this year.

Carnivals, festivals, and petting zoos are also forbidden to keep kids and adults safe from the COVID-19 transmission risks associated with high-touch surfaces, the county Health and Human Services Agency said.

As for old-time traditions like trick-or-treating and haunted houses, those aren't recommended by the county. Trick-or-treating can be difficult to do while maintaining social distancing, and haunted houses can be dangerous because they typically involve several people in a tight and poorly ventilated space, according to the HHSA.

There are still a few ways you can have fun, though.

The county put together some recommendations for Halloween festivities that, if organized with the spirit of the holiday in mind, can really be a socially-distanced hit.

Those recommendations include online parties and contests. You can get together with your friends in a virtual chatroom and have a pumpkin carving competition, or see who has the best costume (if Comic-Con can do it virtually you can too!). You could even put the best candy debate to rest for good and livestream your sweets rankings.

And as we've seen with birthdays, graduations, and other accomplishments that would normally call for a big party, drive-thru celebrations can serve as a worthwhile substitute. Maybe it's time you finally give your car the Halloween costume it deserves.

See more recommendations from the county here.

Other festivities with a green light from the county include decorating your yard, movie night at home or at the drive-in, and visiting pumpkin patches. In any case, just remember to wear a mask, keeps six feet of distance, and sanitize your hands frequently.

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