California health leaders discourage trick-or-treating and in-person parties during Halloween, Dia de los Muertos

California Connection

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Halloween in 2020 could look a lot different in California.

California health leaders are strongly discouraging door-to-door trick-or-treating and in-person parties for the upcoming holidays.

The state’s health officers released new guidance Tuesday for Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.

“People wonder, ‘Well, does that mean that it’s absolutely banned?’ This is a recommendation,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Secretary of Health and Human Services. “Does that mean that trick-or-treaters there will be some enforcement? Absolutely not. We don’t want to turn, certainly, what is a celebration and a time of joy into something that is difficult or contentious,”

In the guidance, health officials noted door-to-door trick-or-treating and the mixing it creates will make contact tracing very challenging.

For private gatherings, the state released new guidance, suggesting they include no more than three households and should be outdoors.

Some California counties had already released health guidelines for Halloween. Ghaly noted some of them will have to change.

“That counties can be more restrictive but not less restrictive around. So, this will have some implications on some counties and, again, these are our recommendations, our strong recommendations,” Ghaly explained.

The state’s latest set of recommendations come as California continues to see stability in its case, positivity and hospitalization rates for COVID-19.

Health leaders acknowledged California is not yet seeing the increases some other states are ahead of Halloween.

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