California health authorities are telling residents to ditch trick-or-treating this Halloween, and pick from a list of approved activities, instead.

The guidelines are similar to those Los Angeles County authorities issued in September. Those included several banned activities, such as live entertainment or haunted houses.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said traditional trick-or-treating would spur new coronavirus infections:

“The whole act of going door to door in groups, ringing doorbells, digging into buckets of delicious candy, create a risk of spreading COVID-19,” Ghaly said. “The fact that positive cases are hard to discover and probably really challenging to contact trace also pose challenges that we feel like are too great.”

Among the suggested “low-risk” alternatives are:

Joining online parties for costume contests or pumpkin carving

Enjoying activities from your car like drive-through Halloween displays or drive-in movies

Having fun at home with scary movies, a candy scavenger hunt, or turning your home into a haunted house

Putting on costumes and going on a physically distanced walk with your household

Dressing up your home or yard with Halloween decorations

No word yet on whether the state health nannies will take the fun out of Thanksgiving and Christmas, too.

Image Credit: John Fowler from Placitas, NM, USA / CC BY (