There certainly is enough scary stuff going on right now, but what will all those ghosts ghouls and goblins lurking amongst us do for Halloween.

Because COVID-19 continues to pose a substantial risk to SLO County, and the State has not yet issued health guidance for the upcoming holiday, County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein issued new Halloween Guidance to reduce the risk of COVID-19 during Halloween celebrations. 

“We can still enjoy Halloween and prevent outbreaks of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Dr. Borenstein in a news release. “This guidance gives you choices to celebrate Halloween safely. Please take the time to review it and take steps to reduce the risk to you, your family, your neighbors, and our whole community.” 

Traditional holiday activities often promote congregating and the mixing of households, which increases the risk of transmitting COVID-19. The County’s COVID-19 Halloween Guidance directs community members to limit contact while distributing treats, safely prepare treats, wear a cloth face covering with your costume and as you hand out treats, stick to your social bubble, and more. Dr. Borenstein strongly discourages standard Halloween activities like traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating because they can easily spread COVID-19 to multiple households. However, the guidance provides low-risk alternatives, including leaving bowls or pre-packaged treats on your doorstep or porch for trick-or-treaters to enjoy, online parties or costume contests, drive-by parades, socially distanced activities, a movie night at a drive-in theater, and more. 

Highest risk activities and those that are not permitted include carnivals or festivals, live entertainment (including live music), indoor and outdoor haunted house attractions where people are gathered close and screaming, and in-person parties or gatherings (including outdoor social gatherings) with people not part of your small social bubble.