From the Snohomish Health District
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Kids, families and businesses have had to approach a number of traditions and favorite pastimes differently this year. That will continue with fall and winter holidays ahead, particularly with Halloween quickly approaching.
Similar to tips released by the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Snohomish Health District recommends opting for household-only and/or virtual activities. From scavenger hunts or movie marathons, to costume or pumpkin carving contests online, sticking with ghouls and goblins at home is best.
Traditional trick-or-treating is considered a high-risk activity for COVID-19 transmission and is discouraged by public health officials. For those going trick-or-treating, remember to:
- Wash hands before and after, and bring hand sanitizer along just in case.
- Only go with household members.
- Wear a cloth face covering that fully covers the nose and mouth. Halloween masks are not a substitute.
- Maintain at least six feet from others.
- Limit the amount of time away from home, and do not travel to another neighborhood or housing complex.
- Stay home if you aren’t feeling well.
For those passing out candy:
- Remember that this is considered a high-risk activity for COVID-19 transmission and also discouraged by public health officials.
- If you aren’t feeling well, skip the candy and stay inside.
- Wear a face covering at all times.
- Wear gloves, plastic baggies over hands or tongs when handling candy.
- Avoid having people come to the door and/or ringing the doorbell. Sit in a chair in the driveway, garage, yard or porch.
- Do not use a communal candy bowl where people reach in for their candy. Instead, place candy in treat bags or spread out on a table or in the yard. Or maybe try a new trend—candy sticking.
- Use tape, signs or mini-pumpkins for directions and to keep kids six feet apart while waiting.
For businesses, organizations or neighborhoods:
- No indoor trick-or-treating, activities, parties or gatherings with multiple households.
- No “trunk-or-treat” events that draw large gatherings. One option to consider could be a drive-thru event where pre-packaged candy is given out. Everyone must wear face coverings, including those in the car, and people handing out candy must be more than six feet apart.
- Hold virtual events and contests.
While indoor haunted houses, trick-or-treating on Main Street, and Halloween parties aren’t happening, there are still fun ways to celebrate safely. There are many u-pick farms, pumpkin patches and corn mazes in Snohomish County that have activities being offered following the Safe Start’s agritourism guidance.
The Health District has also created some coloring pages and a “Healthy Halloween Countdown” for download. They can be found online at www.snohd.org/558/Activities, and more activities and resources will be added over time.
The community is encouraged to help prevent the spread of illness and to support the response to this outbreak by staying informed and sharing reliable information. This is a very fluid situation and information will be updated at www.snohd.org/covid and the Health District’s social media channels.