Celebrating Halloween in the Era of COVID-19

Like many other things in 2020, Halloween will need to be celebrated differently this year to keep people safe. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is providing guidance on how to take part in this holiday in a manner that reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Gatherings of people outside of your household are currently not permitted.  Santa Barbara County is in the Red Tier, which means virus transmission remains substantial. There are many ways to celebrate creatively this year! Some ideas include:

  • Watching Halloween movies at home or virtually with others
  • Halloween movie night at drive-in theaters (that comply with the State Guidance for Movie Theaters and Family Entertainment Centers)
  • Virtual costume party or virtual craft projects
  • Decorate your house or apartment inside and out.

Outdoor alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating include:

  • Trunk or treating: This activity is allowed for the purpose of distributing candy only; no other events are permitted. Follow the safety practice guidelines. Park cars at least 8 to 10 feet apart from each Do not cluster in groups. If lines form, keep people at least 6 feet apart.
  • Car parades: Car parades must comply with Drive-In Event Guidance.
  • Plan a socially distanced costume parade: Place treats where kids can pick them up along the parade route (daytime activity). Alternatively, provide a bag of treats at the end of the Be careful not to allow spectators or crowds to gather at these types of activities.

“Traditional trick-or-treating can be a high-risk activity and alternatives are strongly encouraged this year. We must remain diligent during this holiday season and ensure that we are wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, and avoiding mixing with people that do not live in our household,” shared Van Do-Reynoso, Director for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

For general questions about COVID-19 and precautions currently recommended by Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, residents may call 211 or visit www.publichealthsbc.org.