Update: the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has revised its Halloween guidelines. Previously, as reported below, officials planned on prohibiting trick or treating. On Wednesday the County announced that instead it was recommending individuals not trick or treat.
By Sam Catanzaro
Trick or treat? With this year the answer is neither following action by Los Angels County health officials banning trick or treating this Halloween over COVID-19 concerns.
Rules released September 5 by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) prohibit door to door trick or treating with officials citing difficulty maintaining “proper social distancing on porches and at front doors especially in neighborhoods that are popular with trick or treaters.” In addition, the order bans “trunk or treating” events–where children go from car to car instead of door to door–carnivals, festivals, live entertainment and haunted house attractions.
“As fall approaches families start to plan for the upcoming holiday season beginning with Halloween. Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated does not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives,” Public Health said.
The agency did note Halloween activities permitted this year in Los Angeles County, 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.
As of Tuesday, Public Health has identified 249,241 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 6,036 deaths.
There are 942 people who are confirmed cases currently hospitalized and 33 percent of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for more than 2,385,000 individuals with 10 percent of all people testing positive.
“L.A. County is still among the California counties with high rates of community transmission. Before we get into cooler weather and flu season, we need to significantly lower the number of new cases. This is the only path forward that allows us to get more students back to school and reopen more business sectors,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer at a press conference Tuesday.