Photo of the Russell Piano Waterfall by Scott Schaefer
Halloween will look and feel a little bit (okay, a LOT) different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s important to identify safer alternative activities to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Here are some relevant tips from the Washington State Department of Health:
The Department of Health wants Washington residents to have a fun Halloween while remembering a few key actions you can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Protect yourself, your loved ones, and others while celebrating:
- Wear a cloth face covering anytime you are with people not from your household, whether indoors or outside.
- Avoid confined spaces. Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities, but if you’re indoors, make sure to have proper ventilation, and even open doors and windows to the extent possible.
- Avoid close contact with people outside of your household. Stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not part of your household.
- Wash or sanitize your hands (and the hands of little ones) often.
- Stay home if you are sick or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. And if you have symptoms or you’ve been a close contact of someone with COVID-19, get a COVID-19 test.
“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. “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.”
Some fun, creative, and safer options for celebrating Halloween include:
- Have a scavenger hunt at home. Dress up and hide candy or other treats throughout the house or yard.
- Have a Halloween movie marathon with household members.
- Host an online costume or pumpkin carving contest.
If you go trick-or-treating:
- Stick with members of your household and keep at least 6 feet of distance from others.
- Wear a cloth mask, and remember: a plastic costume mask is not a suitable substitute.
- Wash your hands before and after trick-or-treating.
- Bring plenty of hand sanitizer.
If you give out treats:
- Limit candy to individually wrapped treat bags. This reduces the number of people who would typically touch items in a communal bowl.
- 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.
- Place a few mini pumpkins or other decorations 6 feet apart to signal a line and keep trick-or-treaters distanced while waiting for treats.
Avoid gatherings, events, or parties with people outside of your household that violate the gathering limitations outlined in Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan. Also, check in with your local health jurisdiction as they may have additional guidance or requirements for celebrating Halloween safely this year.
For more tips and tricks for treating yourself to a fun and safe Halloween, visit the Department of Health’s COVID-19 + Halloween tips.
Have more questions about COVID-19? Call our hotline: 1-800-525-0127, Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Weekends: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For interpretative services, press # when they answer and say your language. For questions about your own health, COVID-19 testing, or testing results, please contact a health care provider.