UPDATE: Since posting this article, LA County has walked backed the ban on trick-or-treating and and trunk-or-treating, specifically. The county now says those activities are "not recommended." However, the county has still banned Halloween gatherings, events or parties with non-household members, even if they are held outdoors, as well as carnivals, festivals, live entertainment and haunted house attractions. The orginial article is below.

Original article:

LA County announced this week it will not allow door-to-door trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating events due to COVID-19. In addition, the county also said it would not allow gatherings or parties with non-household members, carnivals, festivals, live entertainment or haunted house attractions.

LA County, located in the state of California, is the largest in the country, with 10.4 million people. The county has had 249,241 cases of COVID-19 and 6,036 deaths.

The county has instead recommended online parties and contests that could involve costumes and pumpkin carving. It also suggested car parades that could include drive-in events where individuals can receive a treat bag made only with commercially-packaged non-perishable treats from an organizer while participants remain in their car. Other ideas included Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters, Halloween-themed meals at outdoor restaurants, Halloween-themed art installations at an outdoor museum and dressing up homes and yards with Halloween decorations. 

“Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated does not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives,” the county said. 

In response to LA County’s call for a creative and safe approach to celebrating Halloween, the National Confectioners Association today issued the following statement:

“Across the country, this Halloween will look a little different for many people. Whether this means socially distanced trick-or-treating, more candy bowl moments at home with family and close friends, or just more time celebrating the season throughout the month of October, one thing is for sure – Halloween is happening. We appreciate LA County’s guidance on how to celebrate the Halloween season in Southern California in ways that inspire creativity and keep Californians safe.”

The NCA also shared the following data points and background about this year’s Halloween event:

  • 63 percent of adults believe that people will find creative and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season this year. (Morning Consult x NCA)

  • 74 percent of Millennial moms and young parents say that Halloween 2020 is more important than ever. (The Harris Poll x NCA)

  • 80 percent of the general public and 90 percent of Millennial moms and young parents say they can’t imagine Halloween without chocolate and candy, and that trick-or-treating is irreplaceable. (The Harris Poll x NCA)

  • This reflects an independent survey from Insight to Action that found 70 percent of moms plan to celebrate the Halloween season with their children this year.

  • NCA designed Halloween Central by working with nutrition professionals and leaders in the public health community – including the CDC – with the intent of helping parents navigate this uncertain time by providing them with inspiration for a creative, fun, and importantly, safe Halloween. 

  • Recently, the Cleveland Clinic issued guidance for how to best support and empower consumers to be safe this Halloween and at the same time still have fun during the month of October, citing many of the concepts outlined on Halloween Central.