San Luis Obispo County Public Health released updated guidelines to celebrate Halloween and Día de Los Muertos amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The guidelines cover three major categories that encourage protection in the night including mask use, social distancing and hygiene. 

Cloth masks must be worn at all times if an individual is participating in outdoor activities especially with others, according to County Public Health. Masks that are a part of costumes are not an acceptable mask to protect the user or others, according to County Public Health. 

If one does choose to participate in trick-or-treating, which is highly discouraged by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), trick-or-treaters must wear a mask, practice physical distancing of at least six feet and keep interactions with those outside of a small social circle brief. 

County Public Health also recommends traveling with hand sanitizer and washing your hands consistently throughout the night. They recommend you do not share costume pieces or food with anyone else and to stay home if you have symptoms. 

Although traditional trick-or-treating is highly discouraged, if one does choose to hand out candy, County Public Health has suggested alternatives to doing so in a safer way. 

County Public Health recommends setting up a table to pass candy from behind, making treat bags and hanging them from streamers for people to grab, a candy slide to pass candy to trick-or-treaters or using a bowl of candy accompanied with hand sanitizer for anyone to grab. These are all highly encouraged as a way to still make Halloween interactive, according to County Public Health. 

County Public Health there are things to avoid on Halloween which includes no hand delivering treats, refrain from participating in any activities, isolate yourself from others if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 and no big social gatherings of any kind. 

“Social gatherings with individuals outside of your household are not allowed, even if they are outdoors, because they create a much higher risk for spreading COVID-19,” County Public Health said in a press release. “The risk of COVID-19 in SLO County is substantial, and not everyone has symptoms. If you choose to gather, at the very least do it smarter – wear a face covering and keep it small, outdoors, and only with those in your ‘social bubble.’”

San Luis Obispo County recently made its way out of the purple tier of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy that outlines every California county’s status in reopening. San Luis Obispo County is in the red tier of the list. 

“If we continue to do our part and celebrate Halloween safely, we can protect our community and work toward opening more of SLO County,” County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein said in a press release.

 

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