CLOSE

If your family is skipping on trick-or-treating, here are 5 alternative ideas for Halloween.

USA TODAY

Ventura County public health officials to follow state guidelines, urge public to consider safer alternatives at home

As families begin to prepare for Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos celebrations, the state is strongly suggesting they not trick-or-treat or attend parties, but celebrate with their own households at home or virtually.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s Health and Human Services secretary, said he wants to see households get creative this holiday season and challenged families to find alternative ways to celebrate that don’t include hosting parties, gatherings or trick-or-treating, all of which could contribute to the spread of coronavirus.

“Some traditional Halloween celebrations such as parties and door-to-door trick-or-treating pose a high risk of spreading COVID-19 and are strongly discouraged,” Ghaly said during Tuesday’s press conference. “If a positive case is discovered, it could be very challenging to conduct appropriate contact tracing.”

Read More: Ventura County updates its trick-or-treating rules for Halloween amid COVID-19 pandemic

Ventura County Public Health Department officials initially announced in September trick-or-treating would not be allowed in the county, a day later amending that stance by issuing not mandates but recommendations against trick-or-treating.

On Tuesday, Public Health Director Rigoberto Vargas said the county will follow the state guidelines of strongly discouraging the traditional activities and urging people to consider safer alternatives at home.

“Given the times and the fact that COVID is transmitted in groupings and gatherings, it’s really the safest way to go,” Vargas said.

Ghaly offered suggestions for alternative ways to celebrate Halloween:

  • Create a haunted house or candy hunt at home within a single household
  • Have a scary movie night with those in your household
  • Carve pumpkins or paint faces at home
  • Decorate your home or yard
  • Design COVID-19 face masks that match your costume
  • Share Halloween treats and candy with those in your household
  • Enjoy a Halloween-themed dinner outdoors with your household and up to two other households while social distancing 
  • Have an online costume contest or pumpkin carving contest
  • Visit an outdoor Halloween-themed art installation at an outdoor museum
  • Tour Halloween displays from the safety of your car
  • Go to a drive-in scary movie

Ghaly also offered suggestions for how to safely celebrate Dia De Los Muertos:

  • Consider creating altars in a front window or outside so others can view from a distance
  • Create a virtual altar space to honor lost loved ones and share it with others
  • Visit a cemetery only with those in your household, wear masks and physically distance from others who may be at the cemetery

California already eased its coronavirus restrictions this week to allow up to three households to socialize outdoors, an expansion of rules aimed at people tempted to have even larger gatherings around Halloween, Thanksgiving and end-of-year holidays, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

Ghaly said Tuesday this doesn’t mean the state is endorsing or encouraging small gatherings — he’d rather see no