Department of Public Health now says trick or treating not recommended
By Sam Catanzaro
County health officials have walked back previous guidelines prohibiting trick or treating.
Earlier this week the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health released guidelines prohibiting trick or treating, among other activities, this upcoming Halloween. On Wednesday, Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer announced a revision to these guidelines recommending, not banning, trick or treating.
“Our guidelines have been slightly revised,” Ferrer said during the daily COVID-19 briefing. “Trick or treating: we are highly recommending that it not happen. We don’t think it’s an appropriate activity during a pandemic.”
The change of course comes following an announcement by LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva that his department would not enforce a ban on trick or treating and also in the wake of mixed reactions from residents.
At the press conference Wednesday Ferrer noted that despite the revision, it is “simply not safe” to celebrate Halloween in the usual fashion.
“There is no guarantee that when you go trick or treating your child goes up to a house where the person who opened the door is wearing a face covering and when you don’t know the person opening the door there is no guarantee that the person is not sick and that the candy they are passing out they have not touched,” Ferrer said. “We are recommending that trick or treating not happen this year and that gatherings, events, parties, carnivals, festivals, haunted house attractions: these are already prohibited under the Health Officer Order and should not be part of our Halloween celebrations.”
Ferrer did mention Halloween activities deemed safer by county health officials, including car parades and drive-in events where individuals can receive a treat bag limited to commercially packaged non-perishable treat and Halloween themed art installations at an outdoor museum.