IMPERIAL COUNTY — The California Department of Public Health released guidelines that Californians should follow to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while celebrating Halloween and Día de los Muertos, according to a press release.  

As part of their guidance, state officials warn that many traditional celebrations — such as parties and door-to-door trick-or-treating — increase the risk for COVID-19 as they bring together individuals from multiple households in a way that would make it difficult to find and notify individuals who are later determined to have been exposed. For this reason, such activities are strongly discouraged. The guidance follows recently released state and local guidance restricting social gatherings to a minimum of three different households and no more than 16 individuals total. The guidance offers a variety of safer alternatives, including celebrating with people in your household or celebrating virtually. The full guidance can be found on the State of California COVID-19 website.   

Regardless of how residents choose to celebrate, it is important to remember the basic protections against the spread of virus, such as washing hands, staying home if sick, wearing a mask, and socially distancing when in public. The California Department of Public Health offers the following recommendations for safer Halloween and Día de los Muertos celebrations: 

  • At-Home Halloween:
    • Create a haunted house or candy scavenger hunt 
    • Host a scary movie night with pumpkin carving activities and sweet treats 
    • Dress up your home and yard with Halloween decorations 
    • Prepare a Halloween themed meal with your household 
  • Virtual Halloween:
    • Host a virtual party complete with costumes and pumpkin carving 
  • Car-Based Halloween:
    • Gather the household for a car-based outing such as a drive-in movie or drive to view Halloween decorations 
  • Outdoor Halloween:
    • Enjoy outdoor Halloween-themed installments. 
  •     Día de los Muertos:
    • Altars: Create your altar in a front window or outside so others can enjoy from a safe distance. 
    • Virtual Altar: Create a virtual space to honor lost loved ones and share via email or social media. 
    • Cemetery Visits: If you visit the cemetery, only visit with those you live with, wear masks, and maintain appropriate social distancing. Keep your visit short.

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