Traditional trick-or-treating ‘not advised’ this Halloween, top health official says

With Halloween looming just six weeks away, children and parents should gear up for an unusual holiday as traditional trick-or-treating is “really not advised” during the coronavirus pandemic, a top health official said Tuesday.

Although families shouldn’t lose excitement for Halloween or throw away the costumes altogether, festivities will look “very different,” said California Health and Human Services Director Dr. Mark Ghaly in a briefing — though he stopped short of explaining what exactly that means.

“You might wonder, ‘Should I pick up a couple of bags candy, because I am going to anticipate, like I do every year, trick or treaters at the door?’” Ghaly said. “Trick or treating — the type of mixing that comes in our traditional trick or treating festivities — is really not advised under COVID.”

It was not clear, however, whether health officials plan to outright prohibit trick-or-treating or advise mask-wearing and social distancing as the holiday nears. In the coming weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office will clarify rules for Halloween on a statewide basis, Ghaly said.

Halloween isn’t the only holiday whose traditions have been threatened by COVID-19. With the Jewish High Holy Days beginning this Friday with Rosh Hashanah, State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan encouraged people to take advantage of online services, avoid meeting up with family or friends indoors, and stay away from communal food.

Into at least early next year, the health officials said, families must be adaptable in how they approach celebrations.

“We know this is a very important time, but we cannot let our guard down,” Pan said. “We know a lot of holidays are coming up and this is a time we all want to be together, but focus on those you live with, and stay virtually connected.”

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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