California health officials urging public to avoid trick or treating on Halloween

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Halloween will look very different this year.

State health officials said today that they are recommending families skip traditional trick or treating because of the pandemic.

Instead, they are offering some alternatives on how to celebrate the holiday this year.

Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly on Tuesday discouraged traditional trick or treating and parties because they pose too high of a health risk.

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"The whole act of going door-to-door in groups, ringing doorbells, digging into buckets of delicious candy create a risk of spreading COVID-19," said Dr. Ghaly.

Dr. Ghaly said if a positive case is discovered, it could be challenging to perform proper contact tracing to alert those who may have been exposed to the virus.

The state is offering up some alternatives for a safer Halloween, including celebrating at home with a scary movie night, turn your home into a haunted house, or set up a candy scavenger hunt.

Online parties or costume contests are also encouraged.

"The safest way to celebrate is at home with your household or virtually. Virtual celebrations create a number of new opportunities for how to celebrate Halloween," said Dr. Ghaly.

The guidance also covers Dia de Los Muertos this year.

The popular Latino tradition often includes gatherings of extended family as well as cemetery visits.

State health officials are concerned with people from different households mixing and spreading the virus.

"Some traditional celebrations such as the parties, costume parties and door-to-door trick or treating we acknowledge pose a risk of spreading COVID-19, so, therefore, are strongly discouraged."
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