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Los Angeles County bans Halloween trick-or-treating this year

The LA County Department of Public Health also banned Halloween parties, carnivals and haunted houses.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

LOS ANGELES — What's Halloween without trick-or-treating? Los Angeles County residents may find out.

Citing the coronavirus, the LA County Department of Public Health initially banned door-to-door or car-to-car trick-or-treating for Halloween on Tuesday, along with Halloween parties, carnivals and haunted houses.

Tthe Department of Public Health states that such activities pose too much of a risk for spreading COVID-19. However, overnight, the health department walked back on its restrictions, moving trick-or-treating from banned to "not recommended" in this release on Wednesday. However, the county stood its ground on banning gatherings.

"Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated (do) not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives," according to guidance posted on the agency's website.

Banned under the county guidance for Halloween are:

-- parties or gatherings with people outside residents' own households; and

-- carnivals, festivals, live entertainment and "haunted house attractions."

So what can you do?

According to the county, online parties or contests, such as pumpkin- carving or costume contests, are allowed, as are car parades and drive-thru attractions. Drive-thru events can also include distribution of "treat bags," but they are limited to "commercially packaged non-perishable treats," and recipients must remain in their vehicles.

Drive-in movie nights are also acceptable, along with "Halloween- themed meals at outdoor restaurants," art installations and decorations of homes and yards.

As always, people taking part in any such events must wear face coverings, practice social distancing and adhere to other health requirements, such as frequent hand-washing and avoiding confined spaces. 

RELATED: Uncertain whether Halloween, trick-or-treating will be allowed in San Diego County this year

Wednesday's release:

San Diego County's public health officer noted the need to find joy during the stress of a pandemic, but what will guidelines look like? SAN DIEGO - If you think you love Halloween, wait until you meet Lydia Vargo. Vargo and her family's Carlsbad home is hard to miss each October.