SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento County has released guidance for trick-or-treaters and neighbors looking to hand out candy as we celebrate another Halloween in a pandemic.
Public health officials put out their recommendations for 2021 Halloween celebrations Thursday as families await the full authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 through 11. Rachel Allen, the county’s immunization program manager, told reporters during a Thursday briefing that vaccination clinics for younger children could start opening their doors the week of Nov. 8.
For children and family members who aren’t fully vaccinated, Sacramento County Public Health recommends wearing a mask while indoors in a public place. Wearing a mask outdoors is only recommended if people are in large crowds or around unvaccinated people in a public setting.
Trick-or-treaters should wear a mask if they’re around people who may not be vaccinated, Sacramento County said. So, officials recommend making mask-wearing fun by incorporating face coverings into costumes and decorating them at home.
Kids should also sanitize their hands before digging into candy bowls and not share their food.
For those who are staying home to pass out candy, public health officials have a few ideas.
Officials recommend handing out candy outdoors with washed hands, or even tongs. For added distance, people can put a table between themselves and treat-or-treaters, or they can place the table at the end of a driveway and greet strangers from afar.
Another idea includes creating treat bags and hanging them by streamers in the front yard for trick-or-treaters to grab.
Anyone who wants to skip walking around the neighborhood for treats can try a party with friends and family, a drive-in movie, a virtual costume party or a scavenger hunt at home. Sacramento County Public Health even recommends trying a “reverse trick-or-treat,” which involves making bags of candies and leaving them on neighbors’ porches.
Halloween partiers should still be cautious by keeping spooky revelries outdoors and among people who are vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test.
“If you have a family member that is at high risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19, you might consider choosing low risk activities and skipping some events all together,” Sacramento County Public Health said.
Residents who take part in Dia de los Muertos can place an altar in a front window or honor loved ones in a virtual space, officials said.