SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – With Halloween around the corner, several Bay Area residents are wondering how COVID-19 will impact festivities.
In San Francisco, health officials say trick-or-treating is ‘not advised.’
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the preparation surrounding Halloween can still look similar, but the actual close-contact celebrating could cause a surge in coronavirus cases.
Contra Costa County health officials are also discouraging traditional Halloween celebrations.
They say traditional trick or treating is not a good idea, and discourages haunted houses and big parties, too.
“We are concerned that the traditional trick or treating is kind of risky during a COVID pandemic,” Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said.
County health officials did say you won’t get fined for trick or treating — there is no local or state ban, but just that they are discouraging you from participating.
Alameda County officials told us they’re developing guidelines to help families and children safely celebrate Halloween this year. They advise residents to look for safer alternatives outside of traditional Halloween activities.
Marin County has issued guidelines for Halloween urging residents to stay at home and participate in virtual festivities.
The county says it is “strongly discouraging” trick-or-treating and large parties.
“Traditional celebrations encourage touching surfaces like doorbells, door handles, and candy bowls, and make it more difficult to maintain physical distancing,” county officials said in a statement.
The county has suggested alternative safe celebrations including online parties, car-based events (where individuals stay in their vehicles), movie nights, holiday-themed meals at outdoor restaurants, and holiday-themed art installations at outdoor museums.
We will update this list as more Bay Area counties put out clear guidelines.