This Major City Just Canceled Halloween Due to COVID

Trick or treating has been deemed too unsafe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It's an understatement to say 2020 has put our lives on hold. Our work lives, home lives, and personal lives are barely recognizable these days. So many of the things we love doing—and holidays we love celebrating—have been effectively canceled by COVID. And now, another beloved tradition is biting the dust. It seems the coronavirus has made Halloween a little too scary this year—at least for one major metropolitan area. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has announced that traditional Halloween activities will not be permitted throughout Los Angeles County this fall due to the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.

This rather depressing news for kids in the City of Angels comes from a public health statement released on Sept. 5 that serves as guidance on how Los Angeles County residents can safely plan for the upcoming holiday season, beginning with Halloween.

"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 guidance reads.

young girl wearing covid mask dressed up for halloween

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the following four Halloween traditions are "not permitted" this year due to coronavirus:

  • "Door to door trick or treating is not allowed because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors, especially in neighborhoods that are popular with trick or treaters."
  • "'Trunk or treating' events where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats are also not allowed."
  • "Gatherings or parties with non-household members are not permitted even if they are conducted outdoors."
  • "Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions are not allowed."

Instead, Los Angeles County public health officials suggest online parties, car parades, Halloween-themed drive-ins and outdoor dinners, and "art installations at an outdoor museum." And even though kids can't dress up and go door to door, the L.A. County Department of Public Health says "dressing up homes and yards with Halloween themed decorations" is a safe way to celebrate the holiday.

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Like many urban areas, Los Angeles has struggled with the spread of the coronavirus since the pandemic first hit the States. The metropolitan area was among the first to lockdown, but there was a resurgence of COVID-19 infections this summer.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the state of California has been assessing COVID outbreaks in different areas by color, with yellow connoting minimal case count, orange being moderate, red being substantial, and purple being widespread. Los Angeles County, which was once an epicenter of the pandemic, is currently in the purple tier. In addition to that meaning a hold on Halloween, kids in the county have also not been able to return to the classroom because of its "purple" categorization. And for more on where COVID is surging now, check out This State Now Has the Worst COVID-19 Infection Rate in the U.S.

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