The Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH) has released a comprehensive list advising on how to safely celebrate Halloween amid the pandemic.
The department would still like Washingtonians to celebrate the holiday — but like many other things, it will look a little different.
“Many children and families in Washington are wanting to know what happens on Halloween this year. This holiday, along with most of our holidays, will look and feel a bit different,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, Deputy Secretary of Health for COVID-19, in a press release. “The good news is that with some changes, we can find meaningful and fun ways to celebrate while still working to reduce COVID-19 transmission in our state.”
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One of the main pieces of advice from the WSDOH is to skip Halloween parties and opt for smaller activities, such as movies or pumpkin carving, that could be celebrated within a household or social group.
The department is urging Washingtonians to avoid gatherings, events, or parties with people outside of your household that violate the gathering limitations outlined in Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan.
The WSDOH has also suggested making a non-medical face mask or face covering a part of your chosen Halloween costume. Make sure not to double up with a costume mask though, as it’ll likely be more difficult to breathe.
Naturally, anyone venturing out should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often. And households that are opting out of the festivities are advised to turn off their porch lights.
Trick-or-treaters are asked to respect homes that have the lights out and to stick to a local neighborhood this year. Busy or indoor areas such as malls should be avoided since there may not be enough space to distance. And similar to other celebrations and small gatherings, trick-or-treating groups should be limited to six people.
How to safely hand out treats
If possible, place treats on a table in your driveway or yard to avoid crowds at your front door. To see trick-or-treaters, sit in a chair in your driveway, garage, yard, or porch and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from the treat table.
You can also place a few mini pumpkins or other decorations six feet apart to signal a line and keep trick-or-treaters distanced while waiting for treats.