SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA — Haunted houses, large parties and indoor mazes should be a no-go in the era of the coronavirus, Santa Cruz County officials announced Monday.
And even if your Halloween costume comes with a mask, you should still wear a face mask, officials said in a news release jointly issued by Bay Area health officers. Maybe this year is the one to focus on decorations and virtual costume contests.
The public should keep a close eye out for COVID-19 symptoms after the holiday — especially three to seven days afterward. Anyone who experiences symptoms can learn how to get tested in Santa Cruz County here.
"These holidays are no different than the rest of the year when it comes to reducing the spread of COVID-19," health officials wrote.
Officials gave guidance on which seasonal activities are lower-risk, moderate-risk, high-risk and very-high risk. Here's the official word on Halloween and Día de los Muertos traditions, according to the county:
"Stay home, keep it small."
Carving pumpkins, scavenger hunt trick-or-treat with members of your household
Outdoor pumpkin patch visit (while masked and maintaining six feet of distance from others)
Carving pumpkins outside with very small group (while masked and maintaining six feet of distance from others)
Virtual costume contest
Decorating your home
Creating in-home ofrendas
Preparing traditional recipes and playing music at home to honor loved ones who have died
Vehicle-based gatherings, such as drive-through attractions or drive-in movies
"If you must."
One-way trick-or-treating, with individually wrapped goodie bags for guests to grab and go at the end of a driveway (while masked and maintaining six feet of distance from others)
Wash hands before and after making bags
Bring hand sanitizer while trick-or-treating and immediately wash hands
Eat candy at home
Small outdoor movie night or costume parade (while masked and maintaining six feet of distance from others)
Themed outdoor dining
Traditional trick-or-treating, which brings people from various households together
Consider turning off your home light or posting a sign
Rural fall festival outside of your community
Very High Risk
"Not permitted by state and local orders."
Crowded parties, whether indoors or outdoors, are linked to many Bay Area COVID-19 cases
Sharing, eating, drinking, talking loudly, singing with people outside of your household
Trunk-or-treat, with candy handed out from cars in parking lots
There have been 2,394 cases of the coronavirus reported in Santa Cruz County as of Tuesday morning, including 10 confirmed deaths and 2,082 recovered cases. Here's the breakdown by location:
Ben Lomond: 18
Boulder Creek: 18
Santa Cruz: 446
Scotts Valley: 56
Under investigation: 103