California Health and Human Services Secretary gives guidance for Halloween, Día de los Muertos amid COVID-19 pandemic

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California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly gave guidance on upcoming holidays, including Halloween and Día de los Muertos, amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the state Tuesday.

As of Oct. 11, California has 3,449 newly recorded confirmed cases. The state now has a total of 850,028 positive cases. There have been a total of 16,572 deaths in the state.

Ghaly said he wanted to discuss Halloween adding parties and door-to-door trick and treating poses a high risk of spreading COVID019 and “strongly discouraged.”

“We suggest families, given this, should plan on safer alternatives,” Ghaly said.

He said local health departments may have additional restrictions.

He also addressed guidance on small gatherings with no more than three separate households, limit to two hours or less and must be held outside.

Ghaly gave safer alternatives for Halloween including create a haunted house or candy hunt at home, a scary movie night, carving pumpkins, sharing treats only with those in your household, or enjoy a Halloween themed meal outdoors with your household and up to two other households.

He added there are also safer alternatives for Dia de los Muertos like creating altars in a front window or outside or a virtual altar.

“If you are visiting a cemetery only visit with those you live with,” Ghaly said.

When it comes to LA County, the county is still in the purple tier, or “widespread” in the state’s tier reopening guidelines. Nail salons, indoor shopping malls and card rooms all reopened this month.

Nail salons were ordered to close earlier in the summer in July.

LA County officials also allowed breweries and wineries to reopen for outdoor service.

Last month, the state allowed for the reopening of outdoor playgrounds but the final decision is for the county to decide.