Illustration: Amanda Castillo
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Many families are anticipating a very different Halloween this year due to the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic. To keep the people of Pasadena safe the city has released guidelines on how to celebrate safely. 

In order for people to remain socially distant many of the traditional Halloween celebrations, such as trick or treating, are not recommended by the City of Pasadena. 

A news release from the office of the Pasadena city manager tells residents which events they should avoid, which are not permitted at all and which are safe to participate in. Both indoor and outdoor parties with people outside your household are not permitted as well as carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, haunted house attractions, rides and petting zoos. 

These activities are prohibited in the city’s guidelines because they make social distancing almost impossible and even if everyone in attendance wears a mask properly, the risk for transmitting the infection is still very high. 

While traditional trick or treating is not on the list of not permitted events it is still not recommended by the city manager’s office as it is difficult to remain socially distanced and sharing food like candy can increase risk. 

Alternative events that are permitted to be safe for residents are outdoor gatherings with three or fewer families, car parades that follow public health guidelines, drive-in movie theaters, outdoor dining or museums, and of course online gatherings such as Zoom calls. 

These guidelines are made to help citizens follow the safer at home order put in place by the state. The Safer at Home Order issued by the City of Pasadena Oct. 15, clarified guidelines for gatherings with people outside the home.

“Private gatherings that include more than three households are prohibited. This includes everyone present, including hosts and guests,” the City of Pasadena Health Officer said. “Participating in multiple gatherings with different households and communities poses a higher risk of transmission and spread of COVID-19 if one or more attendees is/are discovered to be infected with the virus. Persons from the households who do choose to privately gather together should discuss and agree upon the specific group rules for reducing the risk of exposure among the attendees at the private gathering before convening.”

Large parties and other festivities are unsafe according to these guidelines but trick or treating can be done safely when following the rules of social distancing. 

The de Beaumont Foundation has released safety tips on how to trick or treat safely. While trick or treating is the less safe option, careful trick or treating by following these safety measures can help families have a safe Halloween.

“Careful trick or treating involves wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, using hand sanitizer often, washing hands before eating, and using a table to distribute treats instead of handing them straight to trick or treaters.” The de Beaumont Foundation said.

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed many aspects of life and as many people long for normalcy in their lives the Halloween season gives communities a chance to have some relief. The risk of infection is still high, and city leaders encourage residents to follow social distancing guidelines to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

 

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