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The original item was published from 10/7/2020 8:53:00 AM to 10/7/2020 8:59:14 AM.

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Posted on: September 25, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Loudoun Officials Offer Guidance for a Safe Halloween during COVID-19 Pandemic

Image of Safe Halloween Graphic

Loudoun County officials recommend that residents do not engage in traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating this Halloween or other activities that risk transmission of COVID-19.

“We all have a role in making Halloween as safe as possible this year by taking precautions that limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “We encourage parents and anyone planning to participate in Halloween-related events to take actions to protect themselves, their children and others from the virus that causes this disease.” 

Halloween activities that are considered high-risk and are not recommended include:

  • Traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door. 
  • Trick-or-treating at houses where individuals are not wearing a face covering and where 6 feet of physical distance is not maintained between individuals.
  • Trunk-or-treating where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
  • Events that involve large gatherings, such as crowded costume parties held indoors and any events where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
  • Indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming.

For those who are planning to participate in Halloween events, officials urge these precautions: 

  • Stay home and away from others when sick. 
  • Stay at least 6 feet from others at all times.
  • Wash your hands before and during trick-or-treating or handing out candy. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available.
  • Wear a cloth mask. Halloween masks may not fit snugly against the face and may not cover the nose and mouth. Halloween masks with gaps and holes do not protect against inhaling respiratory droplets from other people. Wearing a cloth mask under a Halloween mask may make it hard to breathe and is not recommended.
  • If you choose to offer candy, hand out candy outside and from a distance. Consider setting up a table and placing individually-wrapped treats so that multiple people do not have to reach into the same bowl. For trunk-or-treating, create distance between cars by parking in every other space. 

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying home and away from others when sick. Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others, has COVID-19 symptoms or who has been in recent contact with someone with the disease should not participate in Halloween activities this year.

The Health Department considers haunted houses to be particularly risky for spreading COVID-19 because they typically involve people screaming, which is known to increase the production of respiratory droplets. Haunted houses that choose to operate must strictly follow Phase 3 Guidelines for Entertainment and Public Amusement settings (PDF)

For more detailed information, including suggestions for low-risk Halloween activities for families, visit

Loudoun County encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.

  • Visit for more information about how to protect yourself and your family and to sign up for email and text updates on COVID-19.
  • Opt in to receive text messages:
    • English: Text LCCOVID19 to 888777
    • Spanish: Text LCCOVIDESP to 88877

Residents with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line, 703-737-8300, or send an email

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