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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diegans reminded to celebrate Halloween safely during COVID-19

Halloween is not canceled it's just a little different this year. There are still plenty of ways to celebrate safely.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, California — As San Diego County heads into a Halloweekend, public health officials are urging members of the public to practice COVID-19 protocols -- including avoiding large gatherings such as Halloween parties and door-to-door trick-or-treating.

"These activities involve face-to-face interactions with people from different households," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "If a COVID-19 infection is detected among a participant, it will be very difficult to find and notify those who may have been exposed."

RELATED: Health officials urge residents to maintain COVID-19 vigilance over Halloween

These traditional Halloween celebrations are not advised, and large gatherings are not allowed, under state or local health guidance. The county has reported dozens of community outbreaks in the past week.

The county is offering free candy and surprises at several recreation centers across the county. Walk up is available at all sites and drive-up options are available as spacing permits. 

The San Diego International Film Festival will be hosting Halloween Drive-Ins this weekend in partnership with Westfield UTC with Beetlejuice on Friday and Hocus Pocus on Saturday.

Wooten said some alternate activities to make sure children can have a safe and fun holiday include:

  • Online parties/contests such as costume or pumpkin carving
  • Drive-through events and car parades. 
  • Dressing up homes and yards with Halloween-themed decorations
  • Movie nights with your own household or at a drive-in theater
  • Pumpkin patches where people use hand sanitizer and maintain 6-feet of distance from others

"Please be safe and stay healthy this Halloween weekend," Wooten said. "A boo and a cackle can be great fun, but COVID is definitely not."

RELATED: Trick-or-treating candy poses minimal, but not zero, COVID-19 spread risk

A full list of county recommendations for what -- and what not -- to do over the Halloween weekend can be found here.