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Sacramento says 'yes' to trick-or-treating with modifications in Halloween coronavirus guidance

Face coverings and outdoor candy set-ups are among some of the adjustments that the county wants you to try this year.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — Halloween is going to look different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn't mean you should hang-up the costume just yet. 

While gatherings are not allowed and strolling the streets in search of candy poses a social-distancing problem, trick-or-treating is not impossible under Sacramento County Public Health's (SCPH) new guidelines published on Tuesday. The county says that trick-or-treating with modifications will be the way to do it this year. 

Among the guidance, Sacramento County says face-coverings will be necessary, so getting creative is highly recommended.

"Have your child select their own face covering, and then decorate it together to match their costume," SCPH said in a press release

Additionally, the CDC recommends in its guidance on holiday celebrations that costume masks should not be used as a substitute for a cloth face covering unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric and covers the nose and mouth completely. The CDC also says it can be dangerous to wear a costume mask over a cloth mask as this can make it hard to breathe. 

The SCPH press release reminds trick-or-treaters of social distancing—travel only with household members and maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and others. 

Hygiene is also important to keep children from transferring the virus as they're hauling in the sweets. If you or your child feel sick or could be contagious with COVID-19, stay at home and celebrate Halloween with a spooky movie and a sugar binge instead. 

For houses that are planning on handing out candy, Sacramento County has some great tips on how to do so safely. 

Here is what the county recommends:

  • If handing out candy in-person, situate yourself in an outdoor area, such as a porch or driveway. Do not have trick-or-treaters walk up to your door. 
  • Set up a table to stand behind and hand out candy using candy-grabber or tongs.
  • Make treat bags and hang them from streamers outside for kids to grab.
  • Place a bowl of candy and a bottle of hand sanitizer at the end of the driveway/walkway.
  • Always wear a face-covering around others, don’t touch your face, and practice good hand hygiene when handling candy.

The circumstances of 2020 might cause some to look elsewhere for their Halloween fun, especially since parties and haunted houses will not be allowed this year. 

Luckily, SCPH has some ideas for alternative celebrations as well. Here are Sacramento's ideas for safe, non-trick-or-treating Halloween festivities:

  • Host a virtual Halloween “watch” party with online video/chat and have a "best costume" or pumpkin carving contest. 
  • Have a Halloween movie night with household members either at home or drive-in. 
  • Do reverse trick-or-treat by dropping off small gift bags on your neighbor’s porch.
  • Put on a trunk-or-treat (Halloween decorated car trunks) with socially distanced parked cars.
  • Coordinate a contact-free neighborhood scavenger hunt.
  • Organize a neighborhood car parade or socially distanced costume parade for best decorations/costume and give treat bags or toss candy (preferably with candy grabbers).

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