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Yuba City haunted house opens with 'COVID-compliant' rules for visitors

Organizers behind the haunted house said proper face masks are required even with Halloween masks. A guideline echoed by medical experts.

YUBA CITY, Calif. — As families are looking for safe ways to celebrate Halloween during the pandemic, one community has found a way to adapt a favorite tradition to the current times.

Downtown Yuba City’s Teegarden Event Center has transformed into “Tours of Terror”, giving visitors a fun, frightening haunted house tour.

The organizers behind it said they worked closely with their local health department to make, what they call, a COVID-compliant haunted house.

“Small groups going through the house, no more than seven at a time,” said Teegarden Owner Russ Zullo, “Two groups going, one starts and halfway through the house the second one starts.”

One rule the Teegarden Event Center made clear on signs at the property and on its website is that masks are required in the haunted house, not just Halloween masks but proper face masks.

“Most Halloween masks that are costume masks are not adequate by themselves,” said ABC10 medical expert Dr. Payal Kholi.

Dr. Kholi said that in some cases, not wearing the proper mask can be just as bad as not wearing a mask at all, sometimes worse.

“The poor man's test for whether or not a mask is adequate is really to hold it up to the light and if you can see through it, it's probably not an adequate mask,” Dr. Kholi said, “Blow through it really hard and if you can feel any kind of air on the other side it's probably not an adequate mask.”

Though there are more guidelines and concerns this Halloween, Dr. Kholi said there are ways for families to get creative to still have fun.

“If you want to hand out candy this year, make little tiny goody bags that you can leave on the lawn that the kids can pick up and certainly decorate your house this year so that we can get into the Halloween spirit,” Dr. Kholi said. “It’s really important to unwrap [candy], put it into a bowl, wash your hands and then consume candy.”

At Teegarden Event Center’s “Tours of Terror”, organizers said the Halloween Spirit has been strong and visitors have been following the rules.

“We think this will uplift everyone and we're going to have a good time, a safe time and help them enjoy this holiday,” said event coordinator Camille Costello.

Haunted House tours at Teegarden Event Center are happening every Friday and Saturday through October 31. For more information, click here.

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