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Tips for a safe, socially-distanced Halloween celebration

Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 5:30pm

Unfortunately, many traditional Halloween activities children and families partake in can be high-risk for spreading viruses this year.

The City of Federal Way is recommending several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween this year. If you or someone in your family may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

“We as a community have worked hard to lower our COVID-19 rates locally by wearing facial coverings, practicing proper hygiene and following social distancing guidelines,” Mayor Jim Ferrell said. “We don’t want to let those infection rates creep up again due to people partaking in high-risk activities around Halloween.”

The Federal Way Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a Drive-Thru Trunk or Treat event from 3 to 5 p.m. Oct. 31 at Celebration Park Rd., entering at 328th and 13th Ave. S. This event features a drive through Celebration Park for families to enjoy the holiday from their vehicle.

Face coverings are required while traveling through the event as local businesses and community partners hand out goodies to children. Participants are encouraged to dress up and decorate their vehicle. There is a $5-per-vehicle registration fee. To register for the event, visit itallhappenshere.org.

The City is also recommending some lower-risk Halloween activities such as:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Moderate-risk activities include:

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
  • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

Keep in mind that a costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.

Additionally, do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

High-risk Halloween activities include:

  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
Tyler Hemstreet
(253) 835-2411