LOS ANGELES — Chalk up one more 2020 event to be canceled by the coronavirus: Halloween.
Trick-or-treating, haunted houses and Halloween parades have been nixed under new Los Angeles County health guidelines.
“Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated does not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives,” the Department of Public Health said in a statement.
Trick-or-treating won’t be allowed “because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors,” health officials said.
“Trunk or treat” events, which involve car-to-car candy dispersal and are sometimes held by churches or schools, also are banned. In addition, large gatherings or parties with non-household members — either indoors or outside — will also not be permitted under the new health order.
The latest guidelines also prevent carnivals, festivals and haunted house attractions, and instead encourage online parties, car parades that comply with vehicle parade protocols and Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters that meet health and safety standards.
Annual Halloween events such as Knott’s Scary Farm and the Oogie Boogie Bash at Disneyland have already been canceled because of the pandemic.
The county won’t strip away all Halloween celebrations. Halloween meals at outdoor restaurants, Halloween-themed art installations at outdoor museums and dressing up homes and yards with decorations are still allowed — provided they comply with countywide protocols.
The latest guidelines follow a scorching hot Labor Day weekend, in which public health officials urged residents to stay home to avoid holiday-related outbreaks such as those tied to Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
As of Wednesday, COVID-19 has claimed more than 13,800 lives in California, with over 744,000 confirmed cases.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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