Halloween Guidance By Montgomery County
Over the weekend it was reported by several outlets that Montgomery County had “called off” Halloween, but that isn’t the case.
MoCo put out a press release on Friday, October 2nd offering guidance to keep children and families safe during Halloween.
The release offers advice on how to minimize risks associated with the traditional ways of celebrating Halloween and urges households to plan early and identify safer alternatives to avoid the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Full press release from Montgomery County:
As Halloween approaches, Montgomery County officials are offering advice on how to minimize risks associated with the event during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the traditional ways of celebrating do not allow people to minimize contact with non-household members so it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives to avoid the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Due to the challenge of maintaining proper physical distancing on porches and at front doors on Halloween, traditional, door-to-door trick-or-treating is not recommended. In addition, the sharing of food through activities such as “trunk-or-treating,” where children go from car to car instead of door to door is also not recommended.
The County’s current Executive Order does not allow for events or activities of more than 50 people so large Halloween gatherings, even if held outdoors, are not permitted. Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions are not allowed unless granted a letter of approval. A letter of approval can be submitted on the County’s COVID-19 website.
To promote a safer environment for children and families, the County is recommending the following alternative ways to celebrate Halloween this year:
- Online parties/contests (e.g. costume or pumpkin carving);
- Decorating homes, yards and neighborhoods with Halloween-themed decorations;
- Car parades such as:
- Drive-by events or contests where individuals dress up or decorate their vehicles and drive by “judges” that are appropriately physically distanced.
- Drive-in or drive-through events where individuals remain in their vehicles and drive through an area with Halloween displays. Participants can receive a treat bag (limited to commercially packaged nonperishable treats) or other takeaway item from an organizer while the participants remain in their vehicle
- Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters (must comply with the public health drive-in movie theater guidance);
- Halloween-themed meals at outdoor restaurants (must comply with the restaurant protocol); and
- Halloween-themed art installations at an outdoor museum (must comply with the public health museum guidance).
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Halloween, it is important to:
- correctly wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread when outside your home and around others that are not part of your household;
- avoid confined spaces. Actively stay away from indoor spaces that do not allow for easy distancing of at least six feet between you and others;
- avoid close contact. Stay at least six feet away from all other people who are not part of your own household, especially while talking, eating, drinking;
- follow safe practices while shopping in stores;
- wash or sanitize your hands often;
- clean frequently touched items regularly; and
- if you are sick, or you have been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and away from others.