DC Health releases guidelines ahead of Halloween and Día de Los Muertos


A costume mask does not substitute for a surgical mask or cloth face covering

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WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Staying safe and practicing social distance can’t be so hard when DC Health has released guidelines ahead of Halloween and Día de Los Muertos.

Door-to-door trick-or-treating has been strongly discouraged because it involves too close of contact with people.

DC Health recommends participating in lower risk activities to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Those activities include:

  • Decorate your house and yard in a Halloween theme. Have neighborhood drive-through
  • Events where families can stay in their cars and view Halloween displays similar to Christmas light displays
  • Carve pumpkins with your household and display the pumpkins outdoors
  • Decorate your apartment or living space for Halloween
  • Have a “Trick-or-Treat Candy Hunt” with members of your own household
  • Have an online costume party, costume contest, or pumpkin carving via video chat
  • Post your best Family Costume on social media using #HalloweenDC and compete with your friends for the most likes

Medium risk activities:

  • Participate in one-way trick or treating where individually packaged treat bags are lined up at
  • edge of a yard or for children to grab- and- go one at a time
  • Hold a small group outdoor costume parade and/or contest with social distancing and face
  • coverings
  • Create an open-air, one-way walk-through outdoor Haunted Forest with social distancing.
  • Greater social distancing is necessary if screaming is anticipated
  • Visit pumpkin patches or orchards with social distancing
  • Hold an outdoor small group Halloween movie night with social distancing
  • Participate in or create other events that are held outdoors and allow attendees to stay in their cars or socially distanced

Activities to avoid this Halloween year:

• Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating
• “Trunk or treating” where children take candy from trunks of cars in large parking lots
• Taking candy from communal candy bowls
• Going on hayrides with people not from your household
• Going to indoor Haunted Houses
• Bobbing for apples

Some tips for safe treats include wiping off candy wrappers with sanitizing wipes before eating or allow kids to eat (make sure the wrapper is completely dry before opening) and allow kids to eat only factory-wrapped treats.

Health officials say if you plan on giving out candy, do not allow kids to select their own candy from a bowl, use sanitized tongs or find creative ways to distribute treats.

For Día de Los Muertos:

Lower Risk:

  • Prepare favorite recipes of the deceased at home with members of your household
  • Play music at home
  • Create an altar for the deceased at your home
  • Make and decorate masks
  • Hold online virtual celebrations with friends and family

Medium Risk:

  • Have a small, outdoor group get-together with social distancing
  • Visit and decorate graves with household members only while social distancing from other
  • groups in the cemetery
  • Host a small dinner party with local friends and family with social distancing

Activities to avoid:

  • Participating in large indoor celebrations with singing and dancing
  • Going to crowded celebrations in a cemetery

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone, health officials say you must not attend any in-person events.

A costume mask does not substitute for a surgical mask or cloth face covering

For more information about COVID-19 in DC, click here.

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