Yakima Health District Encourages Safe Halloween Celebrations

The Yakima Health District would like to encourage community members to safely
celebrate Halloween this year. COVID-19 remains to be widespread in our community and
implementing public health recommendations when participating in Halloween activities is crucial to
our community’s health and well-being. Community members are encouraged to evaluate their risk
tolerance given the fact that as of October 21, Yakima County reported a case rate of 519 per 100,000
and a hospitalization rate of 6.2 per 100,000, which are high levels of COVID-19 activity.

This year, many Halloween activities will be taking place such as trick-or-treating, haunted houses and
group gatherings. Community members should remember that the more people who attend from
multiple households that there will be less space in between people, less airflow may be an issue, fewer
individuals might not be wearing masks, and fewer people may not be fully vaccinated which means
there may be a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission. If individuals choose to participate in Halloween
activities, it is best to utilize various precautionary measures to remain safe and reduce the risk of
contracting or spreading COVID-19.

For individuals who are giving out candy:
• Avoid close contact with trick-or-treaters
• Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
• Set up a station with individually bagged treats for others to take.
• Wash hands before handing treats.
• Wear a mask.
For individuals collecting candy:
• Wear a mask. Remember children younger than two years old should not wear a mask.
• Wash or sanitize hands frequently.
• Social distance from others at least six feet.
• Gather in small groups.
For those attending Halloween gatherings:
• Limit the amount of people from multiple households
• Gather outdoors or with windows and doors open
• Wear a mask when not eating or drinking

For those that decide that Halloween celebrations are too risky, there are safer, alternative activities to
consider celebrating Halloween, such as having a virtual/online costume party with family and friends or
a Halloween-themed dinner at home. Additionally, families can celebrate by having Halloween yard
decorations and a Halloween candy scavenger hunt at home.